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Jul 23, 2007

Clean Living Is Bad For Children's Health

By Sarah Fields

A major increase in the number of allergies, including Asthma, suffered by adults and children could be linked to our hygienic and disease free modern world. With so many vaccinations and antibiotics available to fight a whole range of diseases, children and young adults are not building up their natural immunisation to these infections. This hygiene factor also means that young people are more prone to asthma and other allergic reactions as their resistance to allergens in the atmosphere is low.

The claim comes from Mary Lloyd of Bio-Life International, speaking at Chemex in London, an annual gathering for pharmacists and healthcare professionals. Lloyd is a scientist who has developed a natural treatment to control pet allergies by wiping the animal with a cationic surfactant solution. In her presentation Lloyd cited a research study that shows the remarkable differences in the prevalence of allergic symptoms and disorders between the under-developed East and the more affluent and protected Western Europe. The data consistently shows more allergic sensitisation to asthma, wheezing, hay fever and atopy in the West, and the difference is particularly pronounced in children and young adults. The study, carried out by the German Ministry of Health, also showed the same differences between East and West Germany before unification.

Commenting on the hygiene factor Lloyd said, "A scientific review published by experts from the Imperial College of Medicine in London suggests that there is now proof that childhood diseases and exposure to less hygienic conditions actually builds up a child's immunity and helps them to cope with the allergens in the atmosphere. Longer term this may mean a major change in recommended childcare practice. In the interval we have generations which are susceptible to every conceivable allergen".

To avoid any further immune suppression, Lloyd advocates treating the cause rather than treating the symptoms .The first example of this development is the pet allergy preventative, Petal CleanseTM, recently launched in the UK by Bio-Life International.

Cats, dogs and small animals all produce allergens on their coats, which are distributed into the atmosphere, often in a home environment. We are a nation of animal lovers, which explains why so many people suffer from allergies to their pets. By removing the allergens from the animals we can control the source of the problem, which Lloyd believes is better than treating the symptoms with strong drugs, that may have their own harmful side effects if used for prolonged periods.

With over 14 million cats and dogs in the UK, plus 37 million small animals, there is no question that Britain lives up to its reputation as a nation of animal lovers. Sadly, statistics reveal that around 15% of adults and over 50% of children are allergic to household pets. It is estimated that these allergies affect 14 million people in 6 million households in the UK alone. This number is set to double over the next 10 years with the increased propensity of younger generations to have immune deficiencies.

Sarah Fields writes articles on pet related subjects and pet allergy products

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