Monday, 23 February 2015

Could a Dishwasher Raise Your Child's Allergy, Asthma Risk?


Study found children from homes that hand-washed dishes had less allergic disease

WebMD News from HealthDay

By Tara Haelle

HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Feb. 23, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Hand washing dishes instead of using a machine to wash dishes may reduce children's risk of developing allergic conditions, such as asthma or eczema, according to a new study.

These findings are the latest to lend support to the "hygiene hypothesis." This theory suggests that early exposure to many different microbes may keep the immune system working properly. If the immune system is working well, the theory is that it won't mistakenly go after harmless substances as happens in allergies.

"We have only tested an association between dishwashing methods and risk of allergy, but the findings fit well with the hygiene hypothesis. And there are studies showing that hand dishwashing very often is less effective than machine dishwashing in reducing bacterial content," said lead author Dr. Bill Hesselmar, an associate professor of allergy at Queen Silvia Children's Hospital in Gothenburg, Sweden.

"We therefore speculate that hand dishwashing is associated with increased microbial exposure, causing immune stimulation and, hence, less allergy," he said.

However, he noted that due to the study's design, they could not definitively show a cause-and-effect relationship between hand-washing dishes and the development of fewer allergic diseases.

The findings were published online Feb. 23 in the journal Pediatrics.

Hesselmar and his colleagues asked the parents of just over 1,000 Swedish children about their history of asthma, eczema and seasonal allergies. The children were 7 or 8 years old. The researchers also asked how the families cleaned their dishes. They also asked how often the families ate fermented foods and foods directly from a farm.

When calculating the effect these factors might have on a child's allergy risk, the researchers made adjustments for a handful of other things believed to lower the risk of allergy disease, such as breast-feeding and owning pets.

About 12 percent of the families hand washed their dishes. The scientists found that children in these families had about half the risk of developing allergic conditions compared to kids in families that used dishwashing machines.

source : Could a Dishwasher Raise Your Child's Allergy, Asthma Risk?

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