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Giving allergies a licking

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Local entrepreneur cures allergies one lollipop at a time

By Tris DeRoma

In 2014, Los Alamos County resident Cliff Han got a bit of a surprise. After living 17 years in Los Alamos, he had his very first allergy attack, complete with watery eyes, sneezing, the works.

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Another person may have brushed it off, gone to the store and got some medicine. But Han was not just any person.

At the time, Han was a biologist who did research at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Like any good biologist/scientist, he started to experiment in order to find out what was wrong.

“They say if you don’t have allergies in the first five years you’ll be fine. But I had an allergy after 17 years, so that was a surprise,” Han said.

After three years, and after eliminating lack of exercise, a high pollen count and other factors as causes, he concluded that he did not have the right kind of bacteria in his mouth to fight off allergies, he said.

His theory was that current oral hygiene techniques were diminishing the right type of  bacteria in his mouth that worked to keep allergies at bay.

The next question was what to do about it. He knew that there must be other people out there suffering like he did, but they just didn’t have the background and experience he did to actually do something about it. Han, with his own time and money, set out to create a lozenge made of nutrients, amino acids and sugars to see what type of affect it would have by putting them in his mouth.

After a few versions, he finally succeeded with the right mix and by 2017, his allergies were gone.

Today, Han is busy getting his newfound cure for allergy sufferers out into the world. Called “Allerpops,” Han spends most of his time now marketing his product on Amazon.com and traveling the country telling people about his product, and the study he did that led to his  discovery about mouth bacteria being the cause of some allergies.

Recently, he went to the Aspen Allergy Conference in Aspen, Colorado, to present his peers his findings.

“I was honored to share the results of my study with some of the foremost allergists in the field,” Han said. “My goal is to educate physicians on the role of prebiotics as a safe, effective, drug-free alternative for allergy relief.”

Han said he knew the road would be hard, but he believed in his product, and he knows others will also, once his Allerpops catch on. He tried selling them in a mall in Santa Fe, but he soon realized that while people were intrigued with his product, some were reluctant to try it without some sort of third-party confirmation, whether that was through other customers or research from another source besides Han. That’s why Han said it was important to present his study at various conferences throughout the country.

“People would tell me, ‘This is a cool idea,’ then go search online,” Han said, of people’s initial reaction to Allerpops when he was selling them direct in Santa Fe. “I realized then that they’re probably just waiting for some other information source. You have to open the market from the top down, either a from very good paper in a scientific journal or have some third party endorsement.”

Online, however, is a different story, as more and more people are finding out about Han’s Allerpops. He has rented an office in town, where he keeps hundreds of empty boxes. When his product arrives from China, he dons surgical clothing and packages the already plastic-wrapped, individual lollipops himself before sending them out to customers.

“In the beginning, I want to make sure the quality is there, and just examine them,” Han said of his shipping arrangement.  It will be packaged over here in the future, when the volume gets bigger.”

If residents purchase his product, Han said it’s important they read the instructions first before using them. He said users need to clean their mouths a certain way in order to get the most effective use out of each pop, which come in packages of 12. Han has a website knozejr.com that explains more about the process, his theory about allergies and the pops.

Han said he was also thankful for the people in the Los Alamos community for backing him and believing in his product from the start.

“I appreciate their courage to try this product and to put their faith in this product,” Han said. “I think the Los Alamos community has helped me a lot in this direction, in supporting the product.”

Han, of course, gives  a little credit to himself, noting that his former job as a biologist and quality control analyst at LANL helped in his quest to create his Allerpops.

“...Even the (quality control) experience helped me. I know how to make sure the product is of a high quality. and how to do the process management and the quality process assurance.

That knowledge, that experience actually taught me how to talk with my contracted manufacturer to make sure their process is safe and that they produces a safe product,” Han said.

“All this training actually prepared me for this day and for the company.”