Hidden Sources of Soy Allergen
Allergy to soybeans is one of the most commonly occurring food allergies. People with soy allergy may have a hard time trying to avoid the allergen in everyday life. No longer limited to tofu, this allergenic ingredient can now be found in both food and non-food products. For example, many brands that market their products as “eco-friendly” and “green” replace petroleum products with soy-based substitutes.
While it’s not clear whether non-food products made from soy-based ingredients can cause a reaction in people with soy allergy, the results of a recent research that studied soybean oil have been quite controversial. For some people, just a skin contact with a soy-containing product is enough to develop an allergic reaction such as contact dermatitis, whereas others only react to eating this allergen.
Some products containing soy ingredients may be processed to the point when the soy proteins are broken down and no longer dangerous for soy allergy sufferers. However, you can’t know before you try. Therefore, you are always better off checking the information label on any cosmetic product (including shampoos, body lotions, facial masks, etc.) or any other product you are about to put on your skin or even touch, especially if you have a severe soy allergy. In case your child is allergic to soy, make sure that all his or her toys are also free of any soy derivatives.
Soy as a Food Allergen
Food products are the most obvious potential source of soy ingredients. The are common in processed foods, dairy-free milk substitutes, vegan and vegetarian meat substitutes, deli meats, baked goods, and many other products. If you have a soy allergy, the only way to prevent your symptoms is to follow a soy-free diet and avoid foods that may contain the soy allergen.
Which Items in Your House May Contain Soy?
Soy products may be used in some of the products we have in our homes, even though they don’t always contain soy-based ingredients. These items may include candles, artificial fire logs, cleaning products, various inks or toners, synthetic fabrics, carpet backing, crib mattresses, as well as pet food.
Experts advise to be cautious using such products and always read the ingredients lists on their labels. This particularly applies to people diagnosed with severe soy allergy, and those who develop skin allergies to soy products.
Medications and Cosmetics Containing Soy Ingredients
Soy is quite a common ingredient in cosmetics. For example, many mass-market skincare and haircare products contain soybean oil. According to a small research, more than 90 percent of personal care products are made using soybean derivatives. In addition, soy is also often contained in medications.
Generally speaking, personal care products that may contain soy include: make-up and skincare products, shampoos, conditioners, lotions, hand sanitizers, soap, as well as various medications and supplements. Unfortunately, not all manufacturers will mention soy in their ingredients list.
Are There Soy Ingredients in Your Child’s Toys?
Soy allergy commonly occurs in kids. If your child is affected by this disorder, there are many items, apart from foods and skincare products, that may trigger an allergic reaction, especially if the child tends to put things in his mouth. The toy box is one of the places where you should look first. Toys and crafts that may contain soy-based ingredients include crayons, various table games or board books that were printed using soy-based inks, modeling doughs (for instance, gluten-free alternatives to traditional Play-Doh), and fillings in many “eco” stuffed animals.
Soy in Industrial, Automotive and Construction Supplies
Due to its low cost, soybean products are also widely used in industrial supplies, automotive equipment and construction materials, such as diesel additives, soy biodiesel fuel, engine oils and lubricants, fertilizers, furniture padding foam, plastics, spray foam, waxes, stains and sealers, insecticides and fungicides, etc.