Wool Allergy


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wool allergyI think I’m allergic to wool. What are allergic reactions to wool and what should I expect?

Best Answer:

Allergy doctors agree that a true wool allergy is rare. However, persons who are “allergic to wool”  will attest that they experience allergic reactions when they come in contact with wool.

Persons who have a wool allergy which try on a sweater for example state that the scratchy itch is so immediate and so miserable; they must take it off immediately!

Is experiencing the itch a wool allergy? Most allergy doctor believe that some people are more prone to experience irritation from wool, but that doesn’t always mean it is a true allergic response. However for people with atopic dermatitis or eczema, those same doctors will recommend the avoidance of wool, because of it’s irritating tendency.

Other Wool  Allergies

Lanolin which can be found in many personal care products is actually wool alcohol, extracted from wool. Many people with known wool allergies will also have a tendency towards any contact with lanolin.

The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology states that a chronic allergy sufferer will experience respiratory allergies from wearing wool. However, their research indicates that this is not from the wool itself but rather from other allergens in or in the wool.

Wool Allergy Relief

Unfortunately, there are no silver bullets to protect you from a wool allergy other than avoidance. In the old days, people wore wool because they beleived it kept them warmer, but there are many synthetic alternatives to wool that do not show to cause allergic reactions.

About the author: Dana Jacobs is a dress designer in New York City.

KDTV 207 – Yarn for People with Wool Allergies

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Foam Allergies


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foam allergiesAllergies relating to foam has grown over the past 50 years as this soft, flexible material has found it’s way into furniture and bedding.

Is Foam an Allergen?

The primary reason why foam may be an allergen is because of off-gassing of chemicals used in the manufacturing process. Foam products may emit volatile organic compounds (VOC) vapors from chemicals used during their manufacture.

Most foam products are oil-based and may contain PolyBrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDE) which are widely used as a flame retardant. PBDE’s have already been banned in Europe and future “to be banned” list in a few states in the United States. California banned the sale of  furniture and bedding products containing PBDE’s in 2008. PBDE’s are believed to accumulate in human body tissue and may pose future health issues.  This has lead to concerns they might be carcinogenic.

Foam found in traditional mattress and furniture products is ALWAYS in a state of breaking-down and out-gassing. As a result, chemical compounds can be measured from foam products during their lifetime depending on various environmental conditions such as heat and moisture.

Organic or natural latex mattresses are recommended for persons wishing to avoid products which contain PBDE’s.

About the author:

John Davis Smith owns and operates a bedding store in Los Angeles, California which specializes in hypoallergenic bedding products.

Before You Buy a Bed Pillow