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Allergies

Sulfur/sulfate allergies

04/24/2009

Question:

Recently I was exposed to a big quantity of sulfuric acid. I have always been sensitive to sulfur and could not take medicines with sulfur. After a few hours I developed hives and itching, my eyes, face and hands swelled, and then my throat began to swell. Now it seems as if any kind of sulfur/sulfate product reacts with me from soaps and lotions to many kinds of foods. I`ve been using benedryl and trying to avoid as many of the irritating products as possible. Will this allergy subside if I avoid sulfur as much as possible?

Answer:

Your reaction after sulfuric acid exposure certainly suggests an allergic process. I agree that you should avoid sulfite and sulfate chemicals. Sulfites may be a special problem for you. They are still used in a number of processed foods and wines. Sulfites are used in certain injectable drug products.

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Response by:

I Leonard Bernstein, MD I Leonard Bernstein, MD
Clinical Professor Emeritus
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati