Antibacterial ingredient may lead to allergies in children: study

December 2, 2010

Children overexposed to a chemical compound found in antibacterial soaps and other products may be more prone to allergies, a University of Michigan School of Public Health study found.

According to a study abstract, triclosan is an antimicrobial agent widely used in a variety of household products. Children who were more likely to be diagnosed with allergies or hay fever were found to have high levels of triclosan, giving support to the theory that a very hygienic environment may impact micro-organisms that help in the development of the immune system, according to a U-M press release.

"It is possible that a person can be too clean for their own good," said Allison Aiello, the study's principal investigator and an associate professor at the Ann Arbor school.

The study was published Nov. 30 in the online edition of Environmental Health Perspectives.