There’s an important impact of cleaning agents on the gut bacteria of infants.
A study was published in the Canada Medical Association Journal in 2018. The study followed 757 infants. The children were assessed at age three to four months and then again between one to three years old. Many stool samples were taken from the children.
The goal was to see if changes in gut bacteria are associated with household chemicals. The researchers look at cleansing agents such as strong surface cleaners, aerosols, and sprays. They looked at cleaning agents that were eco-friendly and more traditional cleaning agents.
Children in homes that used traditional cleansing agents had a lot fewer bacteria, particularly with regards to Haemophilus and Clostridia strains. In contrast, other strains of bacteria, such as Lachnospiraceae were increased.
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They also discovered that children from households that used a lot of surface cleaners and chemical products had higher BMIs than children from homes using eco-friendly cleaning products.
Remember, though, that diet can be a confounding factor. As you can well imagine, children coming from the eco-friendly cleansing households were a lot less likely to eat pizzas, French fries, and soda pop.
I can’t stand it when you walk in some houses, and it smells of chemicals. If I ever go into an Airbnb or a hotel room, and I can smell something, I walk out.
Be careful of cleaning agents, including using wet wipes to clean your children’s hands frequently. There’s something to be said for leaving healthy bacteria alone.