Spring is here and with it comes not only the sun, long days, terraces and almond trees, but also allergies.
Perhaps for this reason it is common to do what is called spring cleaning at home, taking the opportunity to take out the clothes in the closet, put on the winter clothes, air and clean everything. In short, we open the windows to the new season. But this cleaning may not be as useful as one might imagine at first glance.
In fact, there is a difference between cleaning and sanitizing. If you think you can make yourself sick by not cleaning, you may have to think twice. In reality, the main sources of pathogens are often not places that are considered dirty, but contaminated food, pets or infected people. In fact, research (as explained by the BBC) shows that getting dirty can have many health benefits.
The main sources of pathogens are often not places that are considered dirty, but contaminated food, pets or infected people.
A few studies have shown that children who grow up on farms have less asthma and allergies and are less likely to develop autoimmune diseases such as Crohn's disease, due to their early exposure to a more diverse range of microorganisms that help regulate the immune system. However, the belief that cleanliness and hygiene are actually the same thing has been prevalent since the late 1980s.
Indeed, at that time, epidemiologist David Strachan put forward the hygiene hypothesis, according to which exposure to germs and infections in early childhood contributes to the development of children's immune systems and protects them from allergies. The increase in allergies and asthma in children in the late 20th century has been linked to reducing children's exposure to germs through various measures such as limiting interaction with animals or stricter cleanliness standards.
However, whether a child develops allergies has nothing to do with cleanliness, but with his or her exposure to different types of microorganisms through the gut, skin, or air he or she breathes. Children receive all the microbial input they need to develop a healthy immune system through vaccines, their natural environment and the beneficial microbiota they receive from their mothers at birth.
Children receive all the microbial inputs they need to develop a healthy immune system from vaccines, their natural environment, and the microbiota they receive from their mothers at birth.
Cleaning is not sanitizing, and it is not possible to sanitize your home. For that, it would be necessary to sterilize it, which seems a little difficult. A child's susceptibility to developing allergies is not related to cleanliness, but to exposure to different types of microorganisms. You are now free to decide to do some spring cleaning, but think more about the beauty of your home than about possible allergies.