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Have we become a germaphobic culture?

Home Forums SIMPLE SUSTAINABLE LIVING Natural Cleaners and Products for the Home Have we become a germaphobic culture?

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  • #255441
    WazzaWazza
    Member

    Last weekend I visited a family and the experience was an eye opener for this simple living soul. The household was sanitised to the nth degree. Spray bleach is dispensed liberally and frequently throughout the house. Work areas, utensils and equipment are wiped with antibacterial wipes. Antibacterial soap, antibacterial body wash and hand sanitisers fill the bathroom. Even the dog doesn’t escape. It’s washed frequently with antibacterial doggy shampoo. I can tell you, it was extremely disconcerting to use their phone and then have someone immediately wipe it thoroughly with an antibacterial solution!

    Is this normal? Has our culture become germaphobic? If visits to the doctor are any yardstick, then the intense sanitising isn’t working for this family. The kids are always sick, even though they’re not allowed to play much in the nasty outdoors and get dirty. Because of my disgusting habit of eating natural food that isn’t sterilised through irradiation, gassing, heating, pasteurising, packaging or chemicals, I must be a walking warehouse of bacteria. Yet I can’t remember the last time I had to visit a doctor for sickness. I think I had the flu once back in the 1980s and I can’t remember when I last had a common cold.

    In my humble opinion, plain old simple soap, bicarb of soda, vinegar and a little elbow grease will do the trick as far as home hygiene is concerned. It’s certainly worked for me over the years. I doubt that special antibacterial products are necessary and they may even do us more harm than good in the long term. The ‘kill all’ approach to home hygiene wipes out many harmless bugs and may mean that our immune systems lose their ability to cope with more dangerous bacteria. If we keep using these products, will we become so fragile that we have little resistance to bugs?

    #502542
    FozzieFozzie
    Member

    Wazza post=318938 wrote: I must be a walking warehouse of bacteria.

    Yep… we all are a walking warehouse of bacteria Wazza!

    If people are wanting to be truly sterile, we should be drinking and soaking in bleach… there are roughly ten times more bacterial cells in and on the human body than our own cells. (sorry, I’d link to the quote but it’s from my lecture material)

    But here’s another link to an article which says that same http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=strange-but-true-humans-carry-more-bacterial-cells-than-human-ones

    #502543
    chookenschookens
    Member

    I have to agree with you. I work in aged care and we dont use the amount of chemicals found in other sites but still too much for me.

    The other thing I find funny is the recent introduction of the soap dispenser you just wave your hands under. Supposed to stop getting germs from the soap on tap. Duh you wash your hands straight away..no germs. Cant figure that one out.

    I am sure a lot of advertising and new products is based on inventing something then finding a problem is supposedly fixes..

    #502544
    weaverweaver
    Member

    I have to agree with you Wazza and I think it is a sad thing. Dettol used to be kept in the medecine cabinet and used for a graze or cut (usually got while playing outside on who knows what) but now it is everywhere in some houses. I dont even visit the cleaning aisles at the supermarket but if I do walk down them I am horrified by the antibacterial everything that is available. I think immunity could be quite severely compromised in the children who live in these bubbles.

    #502545
    RobyneRobyne
    Member

    My granddaughter came home from school lsat week and said we have to use dettol to kill all the bugs in our house. It seems dettol is giving away these products and the school is recieving something in return. :sick:

    The school doesn’t have clean teeth after lunch like they did when the boys went. My kids had their own little carrier for their toothbrush. There is no sinks in the toilets only out side and they are also used for drinking water from. I would prefer them to be seperate to washing.

    I felt good when I read Wazza’s words I have dog hairs on my carpet YEAH a friend freaks out about it. Its not a lot but our dogs come inside and the gilr looses her hair she’s a rough coat jack russel.

    The same friend makes all her guests sit outside on the outdoor setting so they don’t put dirt in her house. She can’t understand why no one visits her. She is also a carrier of germs as her body doesn’t know how to protect herself. When her grandsons visit they have 3 showers per day incase they are dirty. :sick:

    NO HOPE for People like this :shrug: :shrug: :shrug:

    #502546
    AnjaAnja
    Member

    3 showers a DAY ???? I’m lucky if I can make my kids shower 3 times a week 🙁

    Seriousley though, i had a friend who used to literally wipe every surface her husband or she touched, even when her baby wasn’t able to crawl! The little girl grew up to be asthmatic and allergic to everything.

    When I went to school, I knew one asthmatic and no one ever heard of a peanut allergy. And we didn’t spend hours a week sterilising every surface.

    #502547
    Anonymous
    Guest

    yes! when you see the plethora of products shoved into peoples face on the idiot box, now a hand wash that last 2 hours the inference being wash hands every 2 hours or so. no wonder bugs are abounding some are losing their natural immunity.

    need to get a little dirt on our hands hey? how did we live back in the 40-50’s ??

    len

    #502548
    lisannelisanne
    Member

    I totally agree – I think people over use chemicals in general – they are simply not needed and are actually having a negative affect IMO. We need out immune systems to be strong!!

    When I go to my sisters place I’m stunned by how much sprays etc she uses around her kitchen and yet she is horrified that I don’t use any!

    I don’t really use any cleaning chemicals (except in the loo) – I use enjo mostly

    #502549
    AnjaAnja
    Member

    My house is definitely a challenge to most immune systems!!

    #502550
    Hummer HumbugHummer
    Keymaster

    Wazza post=318938 wrote:

    I I doubt that special antibacterial products are necessary and they may even do us more harm than good in the long term. The ‘kill all’ approach to home hygiene wipes out many harmless bugs and may mean that our immune systems lose their ability to cope with more dangerous bacteria. If we keep using these products, will we become so fragile that we have little resistance to bugs?

    I haven’t used commercially made cleaners for years now. So when work recently brought in an anti- bacterial hand cleaner.. guess who refused to use it ? This cleaner was one that you don’t wash off.

    I was getting headaches from the smell from the other workers using it.. it was vile.

    Yes Wazza, there is excessive use of these products in this anti bacterial age.. and I believe it is why the majority of people can’t fight bugs/germs naturally. Their immune systems cannot cope.

    I feel sorry for the kids who have parents that are way OT with germ killing.. it’s really quite sad.

    #502551
    mossymossy
    Member

    Tea tree oil in hot water for the toilet/laundry where the kitty litter tray is is as far as I go in the antibacterial arena. Used to drive my ex nuts because he wanted to use the chemical cleaners, especially for the kitchen. But I simply won’t prepare food on a bench that has had some antibacterial chemical spray sprayed on it. And interestingly nearly everyone I know got the flu this winter and I didn’t.

    It really does blow me away when I see a new antibacterial something advertised. I can’t imagine what they’ll come out with next.

    I was reading an excerpt from a book called ‘slow death by rubber duck’. They were saying that there are a lot of nasty chemicals in these antibacterial handwash/toothpaste etc. that the body absorbs. So not only are you not letting your immune system get a work out, you’re absorbing god knows what scary chemicals into your body too.

    #502552
    porgeyporgey
    Member

    Wazza post=318938 wrote: . Because of my disgusting habit of eating natural food that isn’t sterilised through irradiation, gassing, heating, pasteurising, packaging or chemicals, I must be a walking warehouse of bacteria. Yet I can’t remember the last time I had to visit a doctor for sickness. I think I had the flu once back in the 1980s and I can’t remember when I last had a common cold.

    In my humble opinion, plain old simple soap, bicarb of soda, vinegar and a little elbow grease will do the trick as far as home hygiene is concerned. It’s certainly worked for me over the years. I doubt that special antibacterial products are necessary and they may even do us more harm than good in the long term. The ‘kill all’ approach to home hygiene wipes out many harmless bugs and may mean that our immune systems lose their ability to cope with more dangerous bacteria. If we keep using these products, will we become so fragile that we have little resistance to bugs?

    Wazza, you are a warehouse of bacteria, as well as virus’, flukes, endogenic & exogenic toxins, fungi, and a whole lot of potentially harmful things that may cause sickness. But one of the many miracles of nature, our immune system and variety of elimination channels & process’, stops these invaders from making us sick. Just like a bicep curl will stress but ultimately strengthen our bicep muscles so to will “germs” challenge but ultimately strengthen our immune system. A child cant bicep curl 40 kgs but slowly overtime his/her bicep will develop through repeated challenge and be able to bicep curl 40 kgs. Similar with the immune system and a specific germ. However, a bicep curl wont specifically strengthen the quadricep muscles therefore quad work is also required to build up those muscles. Similar again with the immune system. If children sit around all day with there bum interfacing with the lounge room couch then there muscles wont develop very well. Spray the joint with all sorts of antibacterial nonsense and there immune systems wont develop all that well either. ‘Nature knows best’ and the best thing parents can do for modern children is firmly plant a size 10 in there lower backs and push them out the door. Free play outside exposes children to just about everything they need to grow & develop including immunity, muscles, social skills etc.

    Many things will kill bacteria including a dry towel. Bacteria need moisture & warmth to multiply so soap and water followed by a good drying with a dry towel is all that is required in most personal hygiene situations. Bicarb, white vinegar, most essential oils especially Tea Tree oil, and good old fashioned direct sunlight are all that is needed really.

    In seems odd to me that people will spend a small fortune on chemical cosmetics that they liberally spread over & in there body yet are phobic about natures germs.

    #502553
    WazzaWazza
    Member

    My grandma used to terrify me. It was standard practice in her day, before a meal, that everyone had to wash their hands thoroughly with her harsh, homemade soap. A hand and finger nail inspection was mandatory for younger children like me before we could even contemplate partaking of the meal. And if you failed the test of her eagle eye, you got sent back to wash or scrub your nails again These simple and effective precautions seem to have largely fallen by the wayside in modern society, probably because many meals are no longer eaten at the table and frequent unsupervised snacking is commonplace. This isn’t scientific proof, but I never got sick after eating at grandma’s place and, as I said in my original post, I haven’t been sick much since. Thanks grandma Rita. You were a wonderful lady and a great inspiration.

    #502554

    It’s the guilt. The tv ads tell us that this is what will make the family healthy, happy, comfy and cuggly (cuddly fabric softener) Eat junk, buy crap, your family will love you more. Blah!

    #502555
    RommieRommie
    Member

    Yup, gotta love all those ads telling you to disinfect your house from top to bottom, mostly featuring little kids to crank up the implied guilt. And really – my toilet is full of germs? Well who’d have thunk that? :whistle:

    I don’t live in a hospital where I’m surrounded by people with contagious diseases, healing wounds or compromised immunity – I don’t need the latest disposable wipes with glunkobleachaphine to sterilise every surface. Even in the kitchen hot water and soap takes care of most surfaces. We put in a dash of Dettol when completely cleaning the cats’ litter trays – otherwise metho, eucalyptus and tea-tree are our disinfectants.

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