START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good

Why Are Allergies Increasing?

  • 1 of 2
Why Are Allergies Increasing?

Allergies are increasing at an alarming rate. In the last 30 years, the number of people suffering from allergies in developed countries has grown from 10 percent to 30 percent. Allergies have become widespread in Western populations, where hay fever, eczema, hives and asthma are all more and more prevalent. Currently, one out of 10 children is asthmatic. Asthma rates in children under the age of five have risen more than 160 percent from 1980-1994 and the mortality rate resulting from this affliction increased 28 percent between those same years.

The reason? According to Dr. Guy Delespesse, a professor at the Université de Montréal Faculty of Medicine, it all boils down to excessive cleanliness. Allergies can be caused by genetics, air quality, processed foods, stress, tobacco use, etc. Yet our limited exposure to bacteria concerns Dr. Delespesse, who is also director of the Laboratory for Allergy Research at the Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal.

“There is an inverse relationship between the level of hygiene and the incidence of allergies and autoimmune diseases,” says Dr. Delespesse. “The more sterile the environment a child lives in, the higher the risk he or she will develop allergies or an immune problem in their lifetime.” Wow. In our efforts to battle the germs to save ourselves from the filth and squalor that has plagued humankind, have we gone too far?

  • 1 of 2

Read more: Allergies, Children, Conditions, Eating for Health, Health, Natural Remedies

have you shared this story yet?

go ahead, give it a little love

Melissa Breyer

Melissa Breyer is a writer and editor with a background in sustainable living, specializing in food, science and design. She is the co-author of True Food (National Geographic) and has edited and written for regional and international books and periodicals, including The New York Times Magazine. Melissa lives in Brooklyn, NY.


+ add your own
1:15AM PDT on Aug 22, 2013

Excessive cleanliness??? No, it's due to PARASITES and INADEQUATE HYGIENE. Read The Cure of All Diseases by Hulda Regehr Clark.

9:48PM PDT on May 12, 2013


9:40PM PDT on May 12, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

7:22AM PDT on May 5, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

6:17PM PST on Nov 14, 2012

good question

2:21PM PST on Nov 14, 2012

I love to have a clean house, especially my kitchen and food preparing area, but I believe all those anti bacterial products cause many health problems. Anti bacterial products kill all bacteria, bad and beneficial ones, they even cause nerve damage on hands over time.
Anti bacterial products kill only 99% of bacteria and the rest of bacteria mutate, that means they change and there is no product that would ever kill them of.
I clean with certified organic product that is full of living enzymes or if I run out I clean with bicarbonate and vinegar.

8:38AM PST on Nov 14, 2012

Pretty counter-intuitive.

7:44AM PST on Nov 14, 2012

thanks for sharing

8:31PM PDT on Sep 12, 2012

Thank you for article.

8:30PM PDT on Sep 12, 2012

Thank you for article.

add your comment

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

Thank you for the article.

Thank you for reminder.

Wow! Sounds like I need to grow one.


Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.

site feedback


Problem on this page? Briefly let us know what isn't working for you and we'll try to make it right!