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Good Bacteria and Bad Bacteria

There has been a proliferation of germ-killing household products. But a
new wave of scientific findings suggests that there may be a price to
pay for our safe western lifestyle.

Over the past thirty years there has also been a huge increase in
allergy cases. Dr Martyn Partridge, chief medical advisor to the
National Asthma Campaign, says asthma experts now accept that the
reduction in the number of bacteria our children come into daily contact
with may be restricting their ability to build up natural resistance.
Three recent studies in Europe support the belief that children need to
be exposed to germs early if they are to develop the right immune

So have we gone too far with hygiene? Should we leave our kitchens
dirty? No say public health experts. Professor Tom Humphrey at the
Public Health Laboratory Service recommends sensible hygiene routines
which do not involve spraying antibacterial agents at random.

Be especially careful about hygiene at critical points, such as
handling raw meat. When cleaning, use tap water as hot as you can handle
comfortably, plenty of detergent and simple, old-fashioned
chlorine-based antibacterial, such as bleach.

~Simon Crompton in The Times