Most of us know how an allergic reaction to food happens – an individual ingests a food allergen, such as peanuts, and the individual starts to have an allergic reaction. The person may start to have itchiness in the throat, break out into hives and/or difficulty breathing. These are just some of the allergic reactions a person may have. The person may also suffer a life-threatening allergic reaction, i.e., anaphylaxis.
However, most people do not know that an individual may suffer a severe allergic reaction to foods that are airborne. This happens when a food allergen is vaporized, often through cooking, making it airborne. For instance, a bakery baking peanut butter cookies or other peanut products often have airborne peanuts. A person who is allergic to peanuts walks into the bakery and breathes in the peanut protein in the air may suffer an allergic reaction.
Though airborne reactions are often considered an unlikely threat, they do happen and people should be aware of them. In most cases, there must be a large amount of peanut protein in the air in a contained space. An example of this is on airplane flights where peanuts are served. The air in an airplane is recycled and peanut proteins accumulate when passengers open the peanut packets. This happened to a girl on a flight last year. See Food Allergy Cases & Lawsuits - Girl Suffered Severe Allergy Reaction After Inhaling Peanut Particles On An Airplane.
Another example may be in bar where peanuts are given to patrons and the shells are thrown on the floor. When patrons walk over the peanuts, they are crushed and the peanut allergen becomes airborne.
Individuals with peanut and other allergies must keep in mind that airborne reactions can happen. Parents should speak to their children about airborne reactions, especially their college bound children. If they are in a confined space where people will have peanut products around them, they should be mindful of airborne reactions. If they feel any symptoms of an airborne reaction, such as itchy eyes, wheezing, hives or any other symptom, they need to leave the room immediately and get fresh air.
Daniel J. O’Brien, Esq. is an experienced personal injury lawyer licensed in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Mr. O’Brien has helped many victims injured in accidents and individuals who suffered severe allergic reactions after accidental exposures to food allergens.
Schedule a FREE consultation with the food allergy lawyers at White and Williams. 877.944.8396
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