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Our allergies, ourselves

Are we allergic because of pollution? Because we wash our hands too much? There's a surprising lack of consensus as to why allergies are on the rise, but some scientists suggest we have only ourselves to blame.

Ragweed pollen, a common cause of hay fever.
By Drake Bennett
May 7, 2006

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ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO, an Austrian doctor named Clemens von Pirquet coined the term "allergy" to describe how the human body, once exposed to a foreign substance, could inexplicably develop a heightened, occasionally fatal, sensitivity to it. (Full article: 1831 words)

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