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Too clean by half?

BBC Online today reports on new research by Colgate-Palmolive which promises to deliver a ‘super soap’ capable of really pummeling skin based bacteria. Meanwhile those clever boffins at Unilever have come up with a deodorant which deprives smelly armpit bacteria of the iron they need to survive, taking us one step nearer the glorious goal of ‘total under-arm freshness!’

I worry just a little about all this bacteriological tinkering, because I have a deep suspicion that these little microbes are with us for a reason, and that by removing them with extreme prejudice we do ourselves – or our children – no long term favours. As if to prove my point, on the same BBC page is a link to this story, detailing how a rise in childhood eczema in the UK may be linked to an increased use of soaps, shower gels and baby wipes.

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