Many of us spring clean as the weather warms up. But is there such a thing as house that''s too clean? Could a little bit of dirt be good for us?

隨著天氣轉暖,我們許多人進行大掃除。但有沒有過分干凈的房子?臟一點點是否對我們有好處?

With spring around the corner in the Northern Hemisphere, many of us are ready to open the windows, get out the cleaning products and remove all the dust, grime and dirt in our homes.

隨著北半球的春天即將來臨,我們許多人準備推開窗戶,拿出清潔用品,把我們家中所有的灰塵和污垢清除干凈。

But how important is having a clean home for our health? Does deep cleaning help prevent infection and protect us from diseases? Experts say we should be careful not to conflate cleanliness with good hygiene.

但是,擁有一個干凈的家對我們的健康有多重要?深度清潔有利于預防感染和疾病嗎?專家表示我們應該謹慎,不要將清潔與衛生混為一談。

The Covid-19 pandemic increased household cleaning as people tried to keep the virus at bay by disinfecting every inch of their home. This was exacerbated by the World Health Organization warning early on that the virus could spread through contaminated surfaces, known as fomites. Later research concluded that surfaces presented a low risk of disease transmission.

新冠疫情增加了家居清潔,因為人們試圖徹底給家里消毒來抑制病毒。世界衛生組織早期警告稱,新冠病毒可能通過污染物表面傳播,進一步助長了家居清潔。后來有研究得出結論,物體表面傳播疾病的風險較低。

Sally Bloomfield, chairperson of the International Scientific Forum on Home Hygiene and an honorary professor at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine worries the pandemic has led many people to pick up unhelpful cleaning habits. These can include such things as obsessively scrubbing their floors, instead of focusing on good hygiene practices which help prevent the spread of disease.

薩利·布魯姆菲爾德是國際居家衛生科學論壇主席,倫敦衛生與熱帶醫學院的榮譽教授,她擔心疫情使許多人養成不良的清潔習慣。其中包括過分擦洗地板,而不重視有助于預防疾病傳播的良好衛生習慣。
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"People have an obsession with cleanliness as a means to protect themselves against germs," says Bloomfield. "It's somewhere in our DNA that we associate cleanliness with health… We've evolved to have a disgust reflex and avoid things that are nasty or smelly."

“人們癡迷于清潔,以此作為保護自己免受細菌侵害的手段”,布魯姆菲爾德說道?!扒鍧嵟c健康的聯系存在于我們的DNA中。我們進化出了厭惡條件反射,遠離臟臭的東西”。
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But cleanliness and hygiene are not the same thing, she says.

但是,清潔與衛生不是一回事,她說道。


Current health advice suggests people should clean their hands after handling pets, for instance

目前的健康建議是人們應該勤洗手,例如擺弄完寵物之后。

"Cleanliness is about achieving the appearance of [an area] looking clean, through vacuuming or wiping it," she says. "But hygiene is about protecting yourself from harmful microbes."

“清潔是指通過吸塵器或擦拭的手段使(某塊區域)外觀看起來很干凈”,她說道?!暗l生是指保護自己免受有害微生物的侵害”。

These include pathogens such as norovirus, flu, Covid-19 and salmonella, says Bloomfield.

其中包括病原體,例如:諾如病毒、新冠病毒、沙門氏菌,布魯姆菲爾德說道。
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"Hygiene is a set of actions, not a state, which you carry out when it's necessary, rather than at a prescribed time," says Bloomfield. "It's about intervening at key moments."

“衛生是一系列行動,而不是狀態,你應該在必要的時候而非固定的時間采取行動”,布魯姆菲爾德說道?!霸陉P鍵時刻進行干預”。

We should all practice "targeted hygiene" in our daily lives and recognise when harmful microbes are likely to spread, says Bloomfield. For example, when we're handling raw food, using the toilet, touching pets, blowing our nose or disposing of rubbish.

我們在日常生活中都應該養成“有針對性的衛生”習慣,了解有害微生物在什么情況下可能傳播,布魯姆菲爾德說道。例如:處理生鮮、使用馬桶、接觸寵物、擤鼻涕、處理垃圾。

A national survey carried out by the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) in the UK revealed that many people are confused about the difference between hygiene and cleanliness. Many of the respondents said that being hygienic involves removing dirt. More than a third (36%) said that dirt was always of usually harmful and 61% said that touching a child's hands after they had been playing outside was likely to spread harmful microbes.

英國皇家公共衛生協會開展的全國普查顯示,許多人弄不明白衛生與清潔之間的差異。許多受訪者表示,講衛生就是清除污垢。三分之一以上(36%)受訪者說污垢都是有害的,61%的受訪者說兒童在戶外玩耍后,接觸他們的手可能傳播有害微生物。

But the RSPH notes that the main sources of pathogens are not typically places which are considered "dirty", but rather contaminated food, domestic animals and infected people.

但英國皇家公共衛生協會指出,病原體的主要來源不是通常認為的“骯臟”之地,而是受污染的食品、家畜、感染者。

Research actually shows that getting mucky can provide many important health benefits. Studies show that children who grow up on farms, for example, suffer less from asthma and allergies and are less likely to develop autoimmune conditions such as Crohn's disease due to their early-life exposure to a more diverse range of microorganisms which helped regulate their immune system.

研究表明,臟兮兮能夠提供許多重要的健康益處。例如在農場長大的孩子較少患哮喘和過敏,自身免疫性疾病的發病率較低,例如克羅恩病,因為他們早年接觸過更多種類的微生物,有助于調節他們的免疫系統。
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The belief that cleanliness and hygiene are the same has persisted since the late 1980s, when epidemiologist David Strachan postulated the hygiene hypothesis. It argued early childhood exposure to germs and infections helps develop children's immune systems and protects against allergies.

自20世紀80年代末以來,人們一直將清潔與衛生相提并論,當時的流行病學家戴維·斯特拉汗提出衛生假說:兒童在早期階段接觸細菌和傳染病有利于免疫系統的發育和預防過敏。
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The rise in childhood allergies and asthma in the late 20th Century was lixed to children's reduced exposure to microbes through declining family sizes, limited interaction with animals and higher standards of cleanliness, according to Strachan.

斯特拉汗表示,20世紀末兒童過敏和哮喘的發病率上升,這與兒童減少接觸微生物有關,原因包括家庭規??s小、與動物互動受限、清潔標準提高。

But scientists now argue that there is no evidence showing that cleanliness is lixed to the development of allergies.

但科學家現在認為,沒有證據表明清潔與過敏有關聯。

Graham Rook, emeritus professor of medical microbiology at University College London (UCL), says the hygiene hypothesis should instead be refrxd as the "old friends hypothesis." He argues that exposure to "old friends", non-infectious organisms, which have been around for much of our evolutionary history, is actually what trains the immune system to not overreact to harmless microbes, rather than childhood infections or how clean your home is growing up.

倫敦大學學院醫學微生物學榮譽教授格雷厄姆·魯克表示,衛生假說應該被重新定義為“老朋友假說”。他認為人類大部分進化史都伴隨著非傳染性微生物,其實訓練免疫系統不對無害微生物產生過激反應的是接觸這些“老朋友”,而不是兒童傳染病或你的成長環境有多干凈。


Since the 1980s, some scientists have believed playing in dirtier environments helps create a healthy immune system in children

自20世紀80年代以來,有科學家認為兒童在較臟的環境下玩耍有助于免疫系統的健康發育。

We're born with a fully formed immune system that needs programming," says Bloomfield. "The programming is done by the 'old friends'. [They are] teaching the immune system to not react to things like pollen and food allergens, which are perfectly harmless."

“我們與生俱來完全成型的免疫系統需要程序編制”,布魯姆菲爾德說道?!俺绦蚓幹朴伞吓笥选瘉硗瓿?,它們訓練免疫系統不對花粉和食物過敏原產生反應,它們完全是無害的”。

A child's susceptibility to developing allergies therefore does not have anything to do with cleanliness, but rather with their exposure to different types of microorganisms via their gut, their skin and the air they breathe, according to scientists. (Read more about how we can prevent food allergies through early exposure.)

因此科學家認為,兒童容易過敏與清潔沒有關聯,而與他們通過腸道、皮膚、空氣接觸到的各種微生物有關。(了解更多關于我們如何通過早期暴露預防食物過敏)

In a 2021 study, Rook and Bloomfield concluded that we are not too clean for our own good.

在2021年一項研究中,魯克和布魯姆菲爾德得出結論稱,太干凈對我們沒好處。

Children receive all the microbial inputs they need to develop a healthy immune system through vaccines, their natural environment and the beneficial microbiota they derive from their mothers during childbirth, they said.

兒童的免疫系統的健康發育需要微生物,它們來自疫苗、自然環境、以及分娩過程中來自母親的有益微生物群,他們說道。

"We definitely do need to encounter the microbiota from our mothers, and from the natural environment, and a failure to do so certainly contributes to immunoregulatory disorders such as allergies because these organisms set up the mechanisms that regulate the immune system," says Rook. But cleaning the home "does not necessarily reduce the child's exposure to mother or to nature".

“我們絕對需要接觸來自母親和自然環境的微生物群,否則肯定會導致過敏這樣的免疫失調,因為這些生物體建立了調節免疫系統的機制”,魯克說道。但家居清潔“不一定減少兒童與母親或自然環境的接觸”。

"Targeted hygiene practices at key risk moments and sites can maximise protection against infection while minimising any impact on essential microbial exposures," the study states.

這項研究指出:“在關鍵的風險時刻和場所養成有針對性的衛生習慣,這既能最大限度地預防感染,又能盡量不影響與必要微生物的接觸”。
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"You cannot keep your home hygienic. If you wanted to do that, you would have to put it in a sterile box," says Bloomfield. "But if you intervene at key moments, you will deal with most of the risks."

“你無法保持家居衛生,你只有把家放進無菌箱子里才能做到這一點”,布魯姆菲爾德說道?!暗绻阍陉P鍵時刻出手干預,你將應對大多數風險”。

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