I am solidly in the camp that believes germaphobia, antibacterial soaps and antibiotic abuse has lead to the food allergy explosion. Overzealous parents wiping down shopping carts, boiling anything their precious angel may touch and insisting the pediatrician hand out antibiotics for every cough and sneeze left these children with immune systems that had nothing to do --and like a bored teenage that could only mean they'd be left up to no good. The immune system then, thanks to bleach and penicillin, attacked foods that were being introduced (peanuts, eggs, milk, etc.). Well, what did you expect...we have immune systems for a reason and back when our parents "kissed it up to God" there weren't all the problems there are today...
I digress. Though I am that mom that would give my kids back their binky after it dropped in the mall, Friday's Tyra Banks' Germaphobe Show managed to freak me out.
Two things were so particularly disconcerting that it was worth it to me to admit watching Tyra to pass them along.
1) Our pillows and mattress gain POUNDS (as in up to 5 lbs) after 7-10 years of use. The excess weight is caused by dust mites and their fecal matter. Considering my mattress is now 10 years old, I'm absolutely skeeving.
and if that weren't bad enough...
2) The average person's underpants* have 10 grams (over two teaspoons) of fecal matter in them. It gets worse. Washing underwear with the rest of the laundry (unless you're using bleach) just redistributes it on the rest of your clothing, sheets and towels.
*I don't feel as if this pertains to *my* family's underpants. I feel this pertains to those that still don't use wet wipes or soap up their TP. Years and years ago Howard Stern put it best when he lamented that no one that stepped barefoot in dog doo would wipe it off with a dry paper towel, yet so many wipe themselves with dry TP... Wet wipes people.
These and other "fun facts" can be discovered in the The Hypochondriac's Handbook , which I found while trying to find out if these things were true.