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Are we too clean? A one day conference from RSPH

Thursday 11th February 2016 28 Portland Place, London W1B 1LY

Allergies are on the rise; hay fever and eczema have tripled in the last 30 years. At the same time, threats of global infectious disease pandemics, antibiotic resistance and the numbers of immunecompromised people living in the community have increased.

For the full programme and to book please visit www.rsph.org.uk/tooclean


It is now accepted that changed interaction with our microbial world has increased our risk of developing allergies, but most experts agree that the hygiene hypothesis is a misnomer.

Use of the term “hygiene” hypothesis continues to undermine attitudes to hygiene, and hinder progress in understanding how to tackle these serious but interlinked public health issues, at a critical time when antibiotic resistance threatens our ability to treat infectious disease.

This event will explore new evidence about the nature of the link between microbial exposure and allergies, and will focus on what industry, healthcare and health agencies can do to change perceptions and develop effective strategies.

Unclear information and over generalisation has resulted in the public losing confidence in hygiene and cleanliness. In reality a whole range of lifestyle and environmental factors have changed exposure to microbes, including sanitation, social contact, exposure to the outdoors and overuse of antibiotics. We aren’t too clean or overdoing hygiene but we now lack exposure to some vital microbes.

So what are the prospects for tackling the problem and how can get the message across?

Chaired by Dr Rosalind Stanwell-Smith and Professor Sally Bloomfield, our speakers will look at why hygiene and cleanliness remain so important and how we might develop win-win approaches that minimise risk of infection whilst optimising exposure to the microbes we need. Hand hygiene is just one area in which science and behaviour change programmes can work together to fulfil both roles. We will also look at the role of hygiene in tackling the problem of antibiotic resistance

Who should attend?

This conference will provide an essential and practically valuable update for those working in the household care industry, public health and healthcare interested in the areas of allergies, infection control and behaviour change. same time,