Some of us, myself included, are slightly neurotic when it comes to cleaning. I am prone to disinfect everything in my home, multiple times a day. However, I’ve had to learn to slow down the cleaning impulse a bit once I become aware of the negative aspects of cleaning too much.
Not only have scientists found that disinfecting ourselves and our living space too much may cause a disruption in our natural symbiotic relationship with bacteria and other microbes. As gut wrenching as this information sounds to us clean freaks,we have to learn to live with the germs for the sake of our health.
Another study recently came out that links the use of disinfectant cleaners around babies to a higher risk of obesity as they grow older.
(ewg.org) – A team of 15 researchers collected data from 757 mother and infant pairs enrolled in the Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development, or CHILD, study. Their findings were published this month in CMAJ, a journal of the Canadian Medical Association.
When the children were 3-4 months old, researchers used questionnaires and in-home visits to assess the type and frequency of cleaning products used in the infants’ homes. They compared these findings to the species and amount of microbes colonizing the gastrointestinal tract of the infants. The researchers also measured the body mass index, or BMI, of the children when they were one year old and again at age 3.
Higher exposure to disinfectants was associated with a greater body mass index in children and changes to the microbes in their stomachs and intestines. These bacterial changes correlated to the frequency of disinfectant use. As disinfectant use increased, so did the abundance of Lachnospiraceae, a bacteria linked to higher body fat and insulin resistance in lab animals and humans.
Infants in the study with higher levels of this bacteria were also more likely to be overweight or obese as toddlers. Click Here to Read More
If you’re wondering if new age Eco-friendly products would help with this, the answer is a bit unclear. As the bacteria and microbes are what needs to survive in order to have a healthy gut and body, too much cleaning in general may be a bad thing. That does not mean you should turn into a slob! It just means don’t be a germaphobe like Donald Trump.
When it comes to Eco-friendly products, they are still way better to use for other reasons.
Disinfectants such as glutaraldehyde, sodium hypochlorite and quaternary ammonium compounds, or quats, have been linked to respiratory illnesses, like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
So definitely use the eco-friendly products instead of the cleaners with harsh chemicals. But also, like it seems to be true for anything and everything, clean in moderation.