Thursday, December 02, 2010

Study suggests that being too clean can make people sick

2D structure of antibacterial / antifungal age...Image via WikipediaA recent study by the University of Michigan School of Public Health suggests that people who are overexposed to endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs) may suffer more allergies and negative effects to their immune systems.  Study suggests that being too clean can make people sick.  This study indicates that young people who are overexposed to antibacterial soaps containing triclosan may suffer more allergies, and exposure to higher levels of Bisphenol A (BPA) among adults may negatively influence the immune system.  Triclosan is a chemical compound widely used in products such as antibacterial soaps, toothpaste, pens, diaper bags and medical devices.  BPA is found in many plastics and, for example, as a protective lining in food cans.  Both of these chemicals are in a class of environmental toxicants called endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs), which are believed to negatively impact human health by mimicking or affecting hormones.  "We found that people over age 18 with higher levels of BPA exposure had higher CMV antibody levels, which suggests their cell-mediated immune system may not be functioning properly," said Erin Rees Clayton, research investigator at the U-M School of Public Health and first author on the paper.  The study also found that people age 18 and under with higher levels of triclosan were more likely to report diagnosis of allergies and hay fever.  There is growing concern among the scientific community and consumer groups that these EDCs are dangerous to humans at lower levels than previously thought.
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