New evidence indicates that practices that prevent exposure to potentially disease-causing microbes early in life may do more harm than good by increasing a person's risk of developing allergies and asthma. The findings provide support for the hygiene hypothesis, which suggests that a lack of childhood exposure to microorganisms increases susceptibility to certain diseases by failing to promote the natural development of the immune system.
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Researchers have found a link between exposure to triclosan, an ingredient in antimicrobial soaps and many other consumer products, and the development of allergies and asthma.
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