A study carried out at the Utrecht University in the Netherlands has found that children who live in dusty houses are less likely to develop breathing allergies than those who live in cleaner homes.
This study looked at more than 1,000 children, aged between two and four years, from Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden, half of whom had developed breathing allergies.
The researchers tested the children’s mattresses and living-room floors for dust and endotoxin (a harmful substance produced by bacteria) and found that children living in houses with high levels of these substances were around half as likely to have breathing allergies as those from more hygienic households.
However, the researchers did not determine whether this protective effect was due to a specific substance in dust or to a specific type of endotoxin.
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First Published in July 2007
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