We're allergic to more things than ever. A medical anthropologist explains why

By Mark Brodie
Published: Monday, October 9, 2023 - 11:22am

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Theresa MacPhail Allergic book
Random House, SD Studio
Theresa MacPhail, author of “Allergic: Our Irritated Bodies in a Changing World”

More and more of us appear to be allergic to more and more things. If you’ve been in the waiting room of an allergist’s office recently, that may not be a surprise.

But Theresa MacPhail says there are absolutely more allergies now than there were in the past.

MacPhail is a medical anthropologist and teaches science and technology studies at Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey. She’s also the author of a book that came out earlier this year that delves into this issue and why it’s happening, called “Allergic: Our Irritated Bodies in a Changing World.”

The Show spoke with her and asked if there’s a consensus as to why more people are developing allergies, or if there are just a lot of hypotheses floating out there.

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