Wool allergies are an epidemic, with a rise in cases in the U.S. over the past five years, according to a report released Wednesday by the American Conservative.
The conservative publication, which is owned by the conservative-leaning American Family Association, said the number of wool allergies had grown to nearly 6.5 million, up from about 1.4 million in 2014.
The report did not include figures for New York City, which has the highest rate of wool allergy in the country.
The American Family, which was founded by Fred and Mary Duggan, said that in recent years the number and severity of cases in New York had increased and that some people had died from wool allergy related illnesses.
The organization called for more research into the cause of the allergy, which causes severe skin reactions and severe breathing difficulties.
“We need to get to the bottom of why this is happening,” the Duggans said in a statement.
“There are a number of reasons, including overuse of wool and other synthetic fibers, as well as environmental factors.”
The Duggan family said they had been using a wool-free wool blend since 2001, and were still using it.
They said they were disappointed that a study published in the journal PLoS ONE in 2013 found that the number who had wool allergies in the United States had increased to nearly 3.5 percent of the population.
The Duggans said the study did not take into account other factors that could have contributed to the increase.