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The Boston Globe

Ideas

Brainiac

Do childhood germs make for healthy adults?

And other recent highlights from the Ideas blog

In an interesting article on the rise of the pervasive hand sanitizer Purell in the March 4 issue of The New Yorker, author David Owen quotes a food expert with a startling perspective on human health.

The expert is Don Schaffner, a food microbiologist at Rutgers. He says that germophobia in rich countries like the United States leads to weaker adult immune systems and has a negative impact on long-term health. Here’s the quote:

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