New studies support decade old hygiene hypothesis - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

New studies support decade old hygiene hypothesis

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BOARDMAN, Ohio -

Hand sanitizers and hand wipes are supposed to help keep us healthy.  However, some experts believe we can be too clean.  Recent studies seem to support the decades-old hygiene hypothesis... that exposure to some germs may help our immune systems tell the difference between harmful and harmless irritants.  Experts say most germs are harmless and many are actually good for us.

"If, on the other hand, you keep your child in a sterile environment when their immune system is developing and then let them out of that sterile environment as they go to kindergarten they are going to react to things they've never seen before and they react adversely in an allergic manner," said Humility of Mary Health Partners' pulmonologist Dr. Nicholas Proia.

This summer, researchers found Amish and kids raised on farms had dramatically fewer asthma and allergy problems.   Experts believe alcohol-based sanitizers do play an important role in hospitals, in public places and for those who have compromised immune systems.

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