Are we too clean? (an extension to the finger licking thread)

wendygurl

Cathlete
Okay, I'm aware I'm a germophobe. I work as a nurse in a specialty area where open infected wounds come to us regularly. We are immaculately clean and sterile there and if one person sneezes, another goes around and cleans all the keyboards, phones etc... HOWEVER, after reading the finger licking thread I see that there are alot of us out there. So anyhoo, I was at a symposium recently where a national speaker on open wounds, non healing wound etc.. was speaking and he brought up the possibility that we are living in a society that is tooo clean. Antibacterial soap, hand gel, dispensers in every facility keep us germ free. He stated the fact that this could be the reason for the resistance and the superbugs so to speak. One thing he did point out is how we raise our children. Remember drinking from a garden hose as a kid?? Does anyone remember their mother handing us antibacterial anything??? How many of us let our kids do that today. Really, something to think about, but not enough to cure me:(
just something to think about...
 

carres1973

Cathlete
Wendy - I have heard the same thing. Our over-use of anti-bacterial everything is actually contributing to us getting sicker. A little soap and water was good enough for all of us growing up. Why has that changed so quickly? Is it the companies marketing that is convincing us we NEED all of our products to have anti-bacterial properties? Oooo...conspiracy theory!!

Carrie
 

syzygy314

Cathlete
I swear that my health is due to my lack of cleanliness! LOL! :p

I am not a great housewife. I only really clean when there's company coming. I keep the important things relatively clean, the bathroom, kitchen. I still eat my food even if one of the puppies or my kitty lick a corner before I can stop them. I have the 10 second rule if I drop something really yummy in the floor (in my house only). I don't use antibacterial anything.

I had a pretty mild case of flu right before Thanksgiving this year, BUT that was the first time I've been sick with flu or any type of virus since 1974! Sure, I've had a sinus infection and migraine headache here and there, but that's it and it's only because I have allergies.

So, I'm a firm believer in the theory of "too clean" leads to more illness and a weaker immune system!
 

kathryn

Cathlete
I've heard this before as well, about the danger of using too many antibacterial products, especially those like Triclosan that work in a specific way. They don't kill ALL the bacteria, and what's left is the strongest, which multiplies. Using the product can lead to the same problems (resistant bacteria) that overuse of antibiotics can.

I don't use Triclosan-based anything, but do use alcohol-based or tea-tree-oil based products (which work in a different way).
 

banslug

Cathlete
I swear that my health is due to my lack of cleanliness! LOL! :p

I am not a great housewife. I only really clean when there's company coming. I keep the important things relatively clean, the bathroom, kitchen. I don't use antibacterial anything.

So, I'm a firm believer in the theory of "too clean" leads to more illness and a weaker immune system!

I totally agree with these parts of your post, Tricia! TOTALLY! (notice, I took out the part about the kitten licking the food, THAT I don't do! LOL)

My kids don't have allergies (either seasonal, food, or otherwise) and we rarely catch even the minor cold bug going around. And you know what??? Our windows are open all year round (and I live in a cement town with a quarry right across the street), I don't buy/use the anti-bacterial gels (and I work in a SCHOOL loaded with germs, mind you), and we don't worry about the guy next to us sneezing or coughing.

(I just HAD to chime in on this, as I was just talking about this very thing today at the school when somebody made a comment to me about my NOT washing my hands after cleaning up a milk spill.)

Gayle
 

wendygurl

Cathlete
you know what gayle, what you say is alot like what i am experiencing. my workplace has made me this way. i wasn't this way before and my kids are RARELY sick. no allergies, and if they do get a cold, its gonewithin 48 hours. some of the ladies i work with have sick kids all the time. I mean ALL the time. one lady has two daughters and called off two days twice in two weeks to take care of them. My big worry is that we are setting up our children for a generation of more than colds... cancers and things like that attack us when our immunities aren't working properly.
 

JeanneMarie

Cathlete
Well, I used to be of the mind set that germs were good for building up the immune system, and that I was one of the healthiest, non germ-o-phobes I knew.

But... as I've aged, I've found out that I do stay well more, and get sick much less often if I follow basic rules of hygiene more carefully. I'm talking washing hands frequently, trying not to touch public surfaces and then touch my face, etc... those types of things. It really does work. I travel a good bit, and the more careful I am avoiding germs in public places, the healthier I stay.

I am still not a germ freak. I don't sweat the small stuff, but I do think there is a happy medium. Use common sense, and you'll be healthier and happier!
 

FourAM

Cathlete
Well I am married to a germ-o-phobe borderline OCD, I think! Of course I am exagerating a little bit but my dh is always thinking about who touched this or that before he did and applying antibacterial gel after any visit anywhere. I am not like that at all. Like the previous poster said though, I do just follow basic hygiene practices , esp trying not to touch my face after a visit to town until I wash them but other than that I am not too crazy about it.

In the 16 yrs we have been together I do not think I have ever had a major ailment...he has had the flu , severely, several times.
 

PhyllisG

Cathlete
I am not a clean freak either. I make it a point to never buy antibacterial anything. If it says that on the label I pass. I do wash my hands with ordinary handsoap and keep my dishes and cutlery clean. I too have no problem with the cats licking something and am a firm believer in the 10 second rule. My kids have rarely been ill, have no allergies, or asthma. I have friends who wiped down their houses with Chlorox wipes, used antibacterial everything and then got H1N1. Yes I do think it is a big marketing tool.
 

fit44

Cathlete
But... as I've aged, I've found out that I do stay well more, and get sick much less often if I follow basic rules of hygiene more carefully. I'm talking washing hands frequently, trying not to touch public surfaces and then touch my face, etc... those types of things. It really does work. I travel a good bit, and the more careful I am avoiding germs in public places, the healthier I stay.

I agree with this. I use a paper towel to open the door leaving a public bathroom. I use the sanitary wipes on the handle of my grocery cart. Wash my hands frequently.
 

ldy_solana

Cathlete
I agree with this. I use a paper towel to open the door leaving a public bathroom. I use the sanitary wipes on the handle of my grocery cart. Wash my hands frequently.

same here. its not so much as i am OVERLY clean in my home(i mean its the same 3 ppl that have lived with each for 12 years so come on) but at work and public i have to be cautious b/c i never know who has what and what i could be bringing home. dd and i are barely sick, my dh does get sick often. i would say he is a lot like me. at work we are anal about hand washing and keeping work stations clean. its not only b/c we work with food but its b/c its law to keep it sparkling. at home not so anal but we still use ol' soap and water when handling raw foods,keep cutting boards and counters clean same with bathroom. i only bust out the sanitizer spray when we have sickies in the house.

LOL about the 10 sec rule that is DH at home too. i will usually catch him though b/c i don't wash my floor everyday and who knows what we bring home from our jobs.

kassia
 

banslug

Cathlete
you know what gayle, what you say is alot like what i am experiencing. my workplace has made me this way. i wasn't this way before and my kids are RARELY sick. no allergies, and if they do get a cold, its gonewithin 48 hours. some of the ladies i work with have sick kids all the time. I mean ALL the time. one lady has two daughters and called off two days twice in two weeks to take care of them. My big worry is that we are setting up our children for a generation of more than colds... cancers and things like that attack us when our immunities aren't working properly.

Wendy, you hit the nail on MY head when you mention cancers, because this is near and VERY DEAR to my heart. My friends in my neighborhood, who live with their heat pumps/air conditioning running all year long with the windows closed, who were extremely careful of what they ate during pregnancy in hopes to avoid their child from having food allergies, who medicate at even the slightest mild grade fever.....their children are the ones with health issues from getting EVERY bug and germ around, to food allergies, to asthma. I am NOT passing judgement on ANYbody nor how they choose to raise their kids and LIVE, but I feel in my heart of hearts that there IS a link between cleanliness, health, cancers, the preservatives/additives in our kids foods (by this, I mean food dyes for colored gold fish, kids' colored yogurts, boxed cupcakes, etc), and the basic OVERALL exposure to the NATURAL germs around us.

My PERSONAL feeling is that our bodies are too busy to fight off the junk and UNnatural stuff that when we truly get sick (cancers, etc), our body is just not capable of handling it ALL! Does that make sense?

Gayle
 

Jaffas

Cathlete
I swear that my health is due to my lack of cleanliness! LOL! :p

I am not a great housewife. I only really clean when there's company coming. I keep the important things relatively clean, the bathroom, kitchen. I still eat my food even if one of the puppies or my kitty lick a corner before I can stop them. I have the 10 second rule if I drop something really yummy in the floor (in my house only). I don't use antibacterial anything.

I had a pretty mild case of flu right before Thanksgiving this year, BUT that was the first time I've been sick with flu or any type of virus since 1974! Sure, I've had a sinus infection and migraine headache here and there, but that's it and it's only because I have allergies.

So, I'm a firm believer in the theory of "too clean" leads to more illness and a weaker immune system!

I could have written this myself. Not a great housewife is putting it mildly in my case. I've tried to improve, read tons of books on how to keep the house clean, the only thing that worked for me was to stop caring. I can't even remember the last time I had the flu. I used to get colds when I worked in a large office, but haven't had one since I took a buy-out from that god awful place.
 

banslug

Cathlete
:D Gabrielle, I always say I either cook and play with my kids OR I clean....I choose the former! lol And my healthy lungs LIKE IT!
 
You can talk biology and chemistry all you want, but all I know for sure is that my dirtiest kid gets sick the least. Getting him to shower and wash his hands is literally like trying to pick up an elephant, and he is rarely sick so there must be something to it.

Melissa
 

Jaffas

Cathlete
I just wanted to add that my house is not like one of those you might see on "Cops" where you ask yourself "How can people live like that?". My food preparation area is very clean. I'm fanatic about disinfecting after handling raw meat and wash my hands constantly while preparing food. I also agree that hand washing is essential. My bathrooms are clean. If you dropped in unexpectedly I would not be ashamed (and you would not be grossed out) to let you use one. But my house is not tidy. Both me and DH (he's worse) are very bad about putting things away. The bed usually gets made just before going to sleep, breakfast things might sit on the table until lunch - that kind of stuff. In fact I had a roommate once that was OCD in her tidiness, but underneath was filthy! She never left a dish in the sink, always put it in the dishwasher right away. I was gone for a week once and when I came back the stuff in the dishwasher was covered in mold! She put stuff in but never ran it! When we moved out her bathroom was disgusting.
 

ldy_solana

Cathlete
gabrielle i understood what you meant. we are a little disorganized ourselves LOL. stuff is just everywhere especially this time of year when we re-arrange things for the tree and to hide the presents from the little one. normally i have paper work lying around everywhere.

kassia
 

RapidBreath

Cathlete
Interesting topic: I've read that antibacterial gels just kill the bacteria that we could fight off and makes a better environment for resistant strains to reproduce by reducing the amount of competition that they face in their environment.
 

banslug

Cathlete
Gabrielle, are you my twin? LOL I could type the exact things you've shared on this thread.

I'm getting off the subject, but.......I'm like you, the ESSENTIALS are clean and disinfected like the raw meat, bathrooms, etc. I've gotten a really good system of keeping the wipes/spray/towels/etc in EACH bathroom so anytime I have to go and I see it needs a wipe, it's super handy. Keeping something in EACH bathroom has made it much less daunting a task to keep clean.

I clean a friend's house (she pays me) and we always laugh because her house is always cleaner than MINE! LOL (and get this, her kids pick up EVERY illness out there!)

Gayle

p.s. I LOVE this discussion/topic!!!!!
 

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