New research on allergic reactions to peanut in the air


Some people with peanut and tree nut allergy are concerned about airborne nut particles causing a serious allergic reaction, especially on planes. A recently published research study looked at 84 children with peanut allergy and monitored them for allergic reactions to peanut protein in the air.

The researchers released peanut protein into the air from packaged nuts. They then measured the levels of peanut in the air and monitored the children for reactions. Two children had mild rhino-conjunctivitis (blocked or runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes, itchy nose or eyes) and one had an itchy mouth. It is reassuring to note that none of the children in the study experienced moderate or severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis).

We hope this study will help to reassure people with peanut and tree nut allergies that sitting near someone eating nuts on a plane or in another confined space is highly unlikely to cause a severe allergic reaction. When travelling on planes it is wise to use disposable wipes to wipe down surfaces that others may have touched when eating, such as arm rests and tray tables. It is also advisable to always use wipes on your hands before eating. Take your own safe food and always carry your prescribed adrenaline injectors and ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis with you wherever you go. For those planning a trip on a plane, our travelling with allergies webpage has lots of great resources.


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