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August 17, 2006

Casual contact with peanut butter in children with peanut allergy not a threat

A study of the relevance of casual contact with peanut butter in children with peanut allergy showed little risk. The study was conducted at the Department of Pediatrics, Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York.

Casual skin contact or inhalation of peanut butter fumes is reported and feared to cause allergic reactions in highly sensitive children with peanut allergy. The study sought to determine the risk of exposure to peanut butter by means of inhalation and skin contact in children with peanut allergy.

Children with peanut allergy who have experienced clinical anaphylaxis underwent double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized exposures to peanut butter by means of contact with intact skin (0.2 mL pressed flat for 1 minute) and inhalation (surface area of 6.3 square inches 12 inches from the face for 10 minutes). Placebo challenges were performed by using soy butter mixed with histamine, and scent was masked.

Thirty children underwent the challenges (median age, 7.7 years old). 13 of the kids had prior history of contact and 11 with inhalation reactions. None experienced a systemic or respiratory reaction. The study showed, with 96% confidence, that at least 90% of highly sensitive children with peanut allergy would not experience a systemic-respiratory reaction from casual exposure to peanut butter.

The conclusion? Casual exposure to peanut butter is unlikely to elicit significant allergic reactions. The researchers did point out that the results cannot be generalized to larger exposures or to contact with peanut in other forms (flour and roasted peanuts).

Go to the 2003 Study

Posted by David at August 17, 2006 10:13 AM


Good to know!!! Thank you! This really helps me put my mind at ease re: the lunches coming into my son's classroom.

Posted by: Leslea from allergyware at August 18, 2006 8:45 AM