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Is Too Clean Carcinogenic?

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Author: the Inkslinger

The more we learn, the more we learn we’ve really learned nothing at all, at least when compared to all the secrets that still lie hidden.

For example, there’s this absolutely fascinating article in today’s L.A. Times, which reports that some scientists think humanity’s ongoing obsession with hyper-cleanliness and its ever increasing microbiophobia (fear of germs), as evidenced by exploding sales of anti-bacterial products, may be contributing to the increases in some kinds of cancer we’ve been seeing lately.

Simply put, several studies have found that people regularly exposed to large amounts of bacteria, like farm workers who work amidst lots of manure, have much lower rates of certain cancers than people who aren’t exposed to large amounts of bacteria, like farm workers who spend most of their time outside the barn.

It’s an intriguing idea and one that deserves a lot of scrutiny. If you’ve read the Non-Toxic Times or Naturally Clean, you know about the Hygiene Hypothesis, which essentially says that it’s most likely not such a great idea to live in a sterile environment because it could make your immune system fat and lazy. If there are no germs around to fight, our immune systems become sedentary, deactivated in a sense. When they finally do encounter something to fight they’ve become so soft and out-of-shape that they can’t respond effectively. Because they evolved in a dirty world, our immune systems need a certain amount of that world preserved in order to remain fit and trim.

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Dear Packaging Development Team

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So, I was sent a link about an organism that happens to like maple syrup, and one of the by-products of this 'sweet' encounter is a family of natural polymers that could help ween us off petro.

Some of you might know that I make maple syrup this time of year, and I’m intrigued about this, that’s for sure!

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Big Sky and Mountains and a Whole Lot of Learning

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Mimicking nature in product design? How cool is that? Biology? Product Design? I'm a quality geek (sans the pocket protector), how will this relate to what I do? Therein lies the beauty of Seventh Generation, we are constantly changing in one way or another and we are encouraged to expand ourselves both personally and professionally.

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