Let's Get Dirty

March 1, 2010

Torah Kachur

We all did it as kids.... Admit it... we all dared our younger siblings to eat dirt. And, with enough double-dog-dares... they usually did.

But now, even toddlers are learning that the word 'dirty' applies to escalator railings, sink handles and door knobs. Helicopter-parents are telling their children not to touch this, or that, don't put that in your mouth, wash your hands...

When they should be saying "Eat Dirt...please"

Dirt and germs are good for you. Exposure to bacteria early in life is essential to developing a strong immune system. Keeping a sterile environment for you or your children is probably doing you way worse, than good.

Torah Kachur Germs bacteria

Your immune system has a memory, the more germs it is exposed to early in life allow it to 'remember' these pathogens and fight them off more efficiently later in life. More importantly, dirt and exposure to icky things likely helps prevent autoimmune disease like multiple sclerosis and inflammatory bowel disease.

The developed world has a drastically higher rate of immune system dysfunction compared to the unhygenic dirty conditions of the third world. The dirtier the healthier, exposure to allergens, infections and all the other things that we call 'dirt' can make you healthier, not sicker.

So stop sanitizing your iPod and telling children to not pick their nose. Its good for them, after all.



Email (optional)


© 2010 Science in Seconds. All rights reserved.     Disclaimer  |  Contact  |  Subscribe
Friend Science in Seconds on Facebook Follow Science in Seconds on Twitter Science in Seconds RSS Feed