[LINK] Japanese face masks (was Re: Radiation)

Pilcher, Fred Fred.Pilcher at act.gov.au
Wed Mar 23 13:22:43 AEDT 2011

Jim wrote:

> Fred said:
> > Bizarre. From a public health POV surely that's creating an
> immunocompromised population.
> Not really.

Thanks for a very informative response, Jim. Link comes through again!

In one respect I was extrapolating. If there's a trend for Japanese people to be (what many of us may think of us irrationally) afraid of environmental exposure, it's plausible that they'll go to great lengths to protect their children from it. I've read articles suggesting that kids whose immune systems aren't exposed to environmental pathogens may never develop resistance to them and, indeed, may never develop mature immune systems. I recall that there's an hypothesis that this could be a cause of the increase in asthma in western countries and Australia in particular. IIRC this was partly criticism of the increasing use of antibacterial cleaning products and the scare-based advertising (scenes of Good Mother protecting Precious Baby from Nasty Germs) used to sell them.

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