Airborne Peanut Allergies?


I have been asked this question so many times, “Does your daughter react if the allergen is airborne?”  The first time I was asked, was by my daughter’s preschool teacher.  Honestly, I didn’t know.  I explained we keep a peanut free home, and I have never eaten anything with peanuts around her.  I had to call my daughter’s allergist and ask.  Her allergist explained that all children with peanut allergies can have an airborne allergic reaction, but typically it is uncommon.

Research has shown that cooking or heating peanuts can release allergens into the air and can cause reactions. However, researchers simulated different settings including a school cafeteria, an airplane, and a sporting event. Study participants wore personal air monitors while sitting next to open jars of peanut butter, while sitting next to someone who ate a peanut-butter sandwich, and while sitting next to someone as they opened multiple packages of peanuts.  All were in an enclosed area. In the last study people shelled and ate peanuts, then threw the shells on the floor and walked around on them. In none of these cases were the researchers able to detect any airborne peanut protein.  Finally, the last study was of 30 children with documented allergies to peanuts did not have any reaction after breathing with a cup of peanut butter held one foot from their nose over a 10-minute period.

Yet another study found three cases of children who had allergic reactions to peanuts in the classroom in which a teacher or other adult was watching the child and knew that the child did not touch or eat the peanuts. In all of these cases, peanut butter was being heated up in the classroom.

I still would rather not chance it, but it’s good to know that in case we ever do end up in any of those situations, the likelihood of my daughter having a reaction is slim.

Information copied from

About Annie

I have a daughter with a severe peanut allergy. She was diagnosed when she was 2. She is 11 now. I have lived the battles of having a child with food allergies, and feel education and awareness makes all the difference.

Posted on March 10, 2013, in Airborne Allergies, Peanut Allergy, Peanut Free and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Iˇ¦m now not sure where you are getting your information, but great topic. I must spend a while studying more or understanding more. Thank you for magnificent information I used to be in search of this info for my mission.

  2. Hi. This is an interesting topic. Although the research indicates that there isn’t a problem with airborne peanut allergens, I think that it depends on the person. And I would not risk it even if the chances are slim.

    I have noticed in the past that airborne peanut “particles” (for lack of a better term), have caused me to have reactions. On more than one occasion I was at a hockey game, and the fan seated behind me was happily munching on unshelled peanuts. He was tossing the shells on the ground. The reaction for me was the usual signs, I noticed that my breathing was starting to get shallow. I was really afraid that I was going to have a full on reaction. Luckily did not progress much further. So although it wasn’t a really bad reaction, it was still a reaction, and I would not want to have that happen again.

    Good luck, and I do enjoy reading your blog. 🙂

    • The “experts” can say all they want and conduct all the tests, but it never beats the information you can get from a person who is actually in the situation. Thanks for sharing and letting me know!! I will be much more cautious if we do ever end up in a situation like that now.

      ***Allergy Warrior Annie***

  1. Pingback: Surrounded by nuts at Playoff time… | Dairy-Egg-Nut

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