The hygiene hypothesis first became mainstream about fifteen years ago, when the rise in eczema, asthma, and allergies became noticeable to the public. The hygiene hypothesis, as the public grew to understand it,, was that we were “too clean”: that we were weakening the immune systems through our fear of germs and needing to sterilize everything and drown everything in antibiotics. The evidence for it was compelling: children who grow up on farms seem to be immune to asthma, which plagues their suburban counterparts. Children who are born into households with pets are less likely to develop allergies.
As with many scientific ideas, though, the soundbyte that was delivered to the public left out a key component of the hypothesis: that not all germs are created equal when it comes to stimulating the immune system. The difficulty, which we are only now starting to truly appreciate, is that the germs that are good for us – the ones that stimulate the immune system, rather than overwhelm it – are numerous. It is believed that there are almost 1000 different species of bacteria living on the skin – and this is just the bacteria. There are also fungi, protozoa, and even tiny animals living in or on the human body. The study of how the body interacts with these organisms is very much in its infancy, but studies have already suggested that the impact is far greater than any of us knew.
However, in the quest to maintain an optimal flora – something that appears to be highly personalized, and varies greatly from individual to individual – we cannot forget that pathogenic bacteria exist, nor how deadly they can be. Hygiene is still important for limiting the spread of dangerous pathogens and bacteria. But practicing good hygiene shouldn’t mean forgetting about the environment. Sirius carries plant-based ethoxylated fatty acids for producing biologically sound detergents. Our soap noodles are derived from sustainably-produced palm oil (RSPO). And tests have shown that when Britebleach SPC is combined with an activator such as Britebleach NOBS, the peroxy acids bleach clothes clean and are indeed sufficient to kill bacteria.
The Sirius Effect:
Dirt might not be the enemy, but containing it is what keeps us safe from disease. It might not be possible to leave the planet as clean as we leave ourselves, but at least we can minimize our impact. Want to find out more about the range of eco-friendly cleaning agents that Sirius carries, and whether they can be used for your products? Call us today.
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