Health Headlines: Are You Allergic to your Smartphone?

Plus: Cancer-causing chemicals in your sofa, and more health headlines.

Are you allergic to your smartphone? According to new data presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI), approximately one-third of all Blackberries contain nickel, one of the most common allergens that causes contact dermatitis. If your skin’s in contact with the metal too long, you could develop an allergy to it. But seriously, if you are still using a Blackberry, then an allergy is the least of your problems. [Men’s Health]

A commonly used coating to protect the stomach may obscure the benefits of aspirin, which can lead doctors to prescribe more expensive prescription drugs, according to a study published this week in the journal Circulation. The main goal of the study out of University of Pennsylvania and funded by aspirin giant, Bayer, was to test the disputed idea that aspirin does not help prevent heart attacks or stroke in some people. Instead, researchers found that the coating on aspirin interfered with the way that the drug entered the body, making it appear in tests that the drug was not working. [New York Times]

Tap water pesticides are linked to allergies, according to researchers at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. They used existing government data to see whether people with more dichlorophenols (the kind of chlorine in certain pesticides that are known to kill bacteria) in their urine were more likely to have food allergies. The studies findings fit in with the growing evidence that pesticide exposure can damage the immune system, which could increase allergies as well, according to researchers. [ABC News]

Many couches sold in the United States contain toxic chemical flame retardants that have been linked with cancer and other ailments, like hormone disruption and neurological damage, according to a joint study by Duke University and University of California, Berkeley. Researchers tested 102 couches and found that 85 percent of them were treated with chemical flame retardants that are known to be toxic. The study was recently published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology. Looks like it’s time for a new couch! [Health]