Dishwashers May Contribute to Allergies

A new study suggests that dishwashers may increase a child’s risk of developing allergies. With data from 1,029 Swedish children ages 7-8, the study concluded that those raised in homes where dishes were washed by hand were significantly less likely to develop eczema. Hand-washing dishes also was connected to a lower likelihood of developing allergic asthma or hay fever. The data reinforces the “hygiene hypothesis,” which argues children who grow up in highly sanitary environments do not have enough exposure to bacteria and, therefore, do not develop their immune systems sufficiently.