Secondhand Smoke and Allergies

Study demonstrates that allergies and secondhand smoke don’t mix

Researchers at the University of California recently conducted a new study to determine the effects that secondhand smoke may have on an individual with allergies.  Nineteen nonsmokers with a ragweed allergy participated in this study.  

The study was fairly straightforward. Each participant first had their nasal passages rinsed, which is referred to as ‘lavage.’ The fluid from the rinsing process was collected for testing. After the initial lavage was complete, each person was then exposed to either clean air or secondhand smoke in a sealed chamber for 2 hours. Another lavage was conducted.

The second stage of the experiment involved exposing each participant to either ragweed or a placebo. Once the allergen was introduced, lavages were conducted much more frequently and for a longer follow-up period. The lavage fluid was analyzed for IgE, a key antibody which is related to allergic response, as well as histamine, which is one cause of allergic inflammation.

Astoundingly, even after four days those participants who were exposed to the combination of ragweed and secondhand smoke had levels of IgE that were 16.6 times higher than participants who had been exposed to the combination of ragweed and clean air! For those exposed to the allergens and smoke, nasal histamine also remained elevated after four days.

This study provides the first clear evidence that secondhand smoke can potentially worsen allergic reactivity. Obviously, if you have allergies, it’s in your best interest to avoid exposure to smokers.

June 14, 2006
American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology

Advertiser Links for Allergies [what's this?]

Search for allergy products

Allergy NewsTylenol AllergyAllergies and MoldAllergies to AlcoholProbiotics for Allergy PreventionVitamin D and AsthmaPeanut Allergies MisdiagnosedMouth Breathing RisksArchivesManaging Seasonal Allergies NaturallyClean Air in the CarThe Stress of Food AllergiesAntibiotics and Childhood AsthmaOptions for Allergy TestingSurvive Seasonal AllergiesGreen and Allergy-Free CleanSpring Allergies and Outdoor FunHay Fever and Work ProductivityTips for Seasonal Allergy SufferersCan Oral Therapy Cure Hayfever?Allergy Relief for Ragweed SeasonAsthma and Air QualityAsthma Friendly PillowAllergy Prevention for your BabyBetter Asthma ControlSurviving Winter AllergiesAsthma Misdiagnosed in the OverweightGet Rid of MitesInsect Stings Can be DeadlyPseudoephedrine Harder to FindA New Way to Test for Food AllergiesAcupressure for AllergiesAllergy Drops Instead of ShotsAvoiding an Asthma Attack Oral Allergy Syndrome Prevent Allergies with a PillSecondhand Smoke and Allergies Allergy Shots in the NewsAsthma and ChildbirthDusty House - Healthy ChildNasty Bed BugsPets and Their AllergiesSniffle-Free KittyAntibiotics & AllergiesAntihistamines & CancerHerbal Relief for AllergiesManaging AsthmaSneezy Days AheadSpring CleaningStubborn CoughUnwelcome ReturnWar on MethLifesaving DrugsColds vs AllergiesRagweed and Seasonal AllergiesThe Shape of Allergenic Proteins Allergy Shot AlternativesFood Allergy Prevention in InfantsMold AllergiesAre You Allergic to Cats?Dogs & Allergies: Myth & RealityChinese Medicine for Peanut AllergiesWhat is Well Controlled Asthma?Beating the Pollen BluesSurgery for Asthma Obese Children Risk AllergiesPollens and Intestinal ProblemsChildren's Peanut AllergiesPremature Babies and AsthmaSmallpox Vaccine RisksAllergy Product ReviewsAir FiltersAir PurifiersAsthma Respiratory CareCarpet CleaningCleaning ProductsDehumidifiersDust MitesFood AllergiesHayfeverHumidifiersMoldPersonal Care for AllergiesPet Allergy ProductsSinus ProblemsSkin AllergiesVacuum CleanersAllergy Relief ProductsGlossary FAQ