Yup. This is another dirty post. It just seems the evidence rehabilitating dirt keeps piling up. Of course, I mean literal dirt and all of the nasty stuff it contains.
This article focuses on the explosion in the rate of childhood diabetes in Finland. At 64 out of every 100,000 children, it’s now the highest in the world. In the 1950s, the rate was only about 15 per 100,000 children.
Finland shares a 500-mile border with Russia. The people on both sides are genetically similar and so share the same “built-in” risk factors for Type 1 diabetes. Even though the people on the Russian side are 7 times poorer than the Finns, their rate of childhood diabetes is just a sixth of what it is in Finland.
Actually, maybe it’s because they’re 7 times poorer they’re less susceptible to diabetes. A pediatrician on the Russian side who’s participating in the study says the relative poverty on her side means “there’s no hysterical cleaning of apartments.”
The article also briefly mentions a continuing U of A study on children and asthma. It makes the important point that not all dirt is healthy. Researchers found early childhood exposure to a particular mold increases the risk of developing asthma.
Still, when Grandpa-hood arrives for me, my advice to my kids will be to lick that binky clean when it falls on the floor. Banish all anti-bacterial wipes and soaps from the house. Get those grandchildren into play groups with other dirty children as soon as possible. And definitely keep the dogs. Until the grandkids arrive, Eloise, Bella and Enzo are all I have!