On 21st February a segment of the BBC’s Trust Me, I’m A Doctor programme looked into cleaning with antibacterial products. Surgeon Gabriel Weston carried out an experiment to discover if cleaning our homes with antibacterial products could be responsible for the rise in allergies and asthma.
We welcome their conclusion that cleaning products are not to blame for the rise in allergies.
The programme showed that after wiping a kitchen surface with antibacterial products, the area was recolonised with the normal microbes which surround us. Therefore, using antibacterial products is not affecting our exposure to normal microbes as much as had been thought by some.
So, the idea that cleaning too much could affect our normal microbiome in fact is not the case. Dr Weston concluded: “So it’s just not realistic to blame the rise of allergies on these [cleaning] products alone”.
UKCPI agrees with the point made by the programme that some germs are harmful and you do need to be scrupulously clean after handling raw meat or using the toilet, to avoid bugs that can make you ill. You can read more about targeted hygiene on the UKCPI website.