Many first-time parents will probably admit to scrubbing, sanitizing,
moisturizing, and sunscreening their children in an effort to prevent
them from getting sick and keep them looking good. Unfortunately,
research has shown that all this sanitizing might also be weakening
their poor little immune systems.
A study highlighted by Live Science claims the overuse of anti-bacterial chemicals in sanitizing products might help explain why kids these days are developing massive amounts of allergies to everything from food to pollen.
For the study, researchers at Johns Hopkins used data from a national health survey of 860 kids between 6 and 18. The researchers looked at seven different ingredients that have previously
been shown to interfere with endocrine function in animals. They found that triclosan (used in soaps, mouthwashes, and toothpastes) and both propyl and butyl parabens (makeup, food, and some medications) were associated with higher allergy risk.
Kids who had had high levels of antimicrobial agents
in their urine also had high levels of IgE antibodies. These are
chemicals your body produces in response to allergens, and they become
noticeably elevated in people who have allergies. It's likely that the overuse of antimicrobial and preservative chemicals are interfering with the development of the kids' immune systems, which results them in being more prone to developing allergies.
So the next time little Timmy touches something that looks gross, don't be so quick to bring out the wet wipes. Chances are it will do more harm than good in the long run.