Excessive cleanliness at home and the risk of allergic diseases

Although it is usually instinctive for parents to try as hard as possible to protect their newborn child from household bacteria, fungi and allergens, new research shows that babies who are exposed to these irritants in their first year of life subsequently have significantly lower risk of developing allergic diseases caused by viruses wheezing and bronchial asthma.

Another such study, conducted by scientists from the city of Baltimore, Maryland, USA, was published in the new issue of the journal Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention /CDC/, 7 million children in the US currently suffer from asthma. In 2009, this disease caused damage to the country’s economy in the amount of 56 billion dollars and caused the death of 3388 children.

It should be noted that in Bulgaria in recent years, especially in large cities, cases of asthma among children have sharply increased.

Bulgarian doctors are of the opinion that this is due to the excessive increase in the number of cars, which in the capitals has reached the critical levels of 550 cars per 1000 people, but the main problem is that the majority of they are over 5 years old and their exhaust gas purification systems are not functioning.

Recent studies show that children who grow up in rural areas have a lower incidence of allergy and bronchial asthma due to the fact that they are regularly exposed to the beneficial microorganisms in the soil.


Other studies show that contact with allergens such as mice, cockroaches and cats – lowers the risk of developing asthma.

To further investigate these questions, a group of scientists from the city of Baltimore, conducted a new study in which 467 newborns living in urban conditions /specifically in the cities – Baltimore, Boston, New York and St. Louis/ took part.< /p>

Researchers followed the health status of these children over a period of 3 years, and also visited the children’s homes to study their living conditions and to measure allergen levels in the rooms they lived in.

The group of scientists carefully determined all cases of wheezing in children, the various manifestations of allergies.

The health status of the children was monitored with regular blood counts and skin tests for allergens, regular physical examinations were also conducted and parents filled out questionnaires. House dust samples were taken and examined from 104 homes out of a total of 467.

The results showed that children who, in the first year of their lives, lived in homes where traces of the vital activity of mice, cat hair, and cockroach feces were found, had much less wheezing during the period by their 3rd year than those from the “cleaner” housing.

Especially interesting is the fact that the more allergens were found in the house dust in the baby’s room, the stronger was his natural defense against allergic diseases.

If we talk in exact numbers, children who grew up without contact with these allergens had a 3 times higher risk of developing wheezing attacks compared to those who did not come into contact with any of these 3 allergens.


The study authors also noted that children living in homes with a wide variety of bacteria were less prone to inhalation allergies and wheezing attacks.

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