Being Outside Linked to Fewer Allergies

Rural kids get more exposure to microbes


A study published in the May 1 issue of the journal PNAS suggests that children who grow up in rural environments are less likely to develop allergies than kids who live in cities or towns. A group of scientists studied allergy prevalence and exposure to biodiversity in more than 100 teenagers in Finland. They found that kids who lived near farms or forests had higher levels of exposure to flowering plants and were more likely to have microbes on their skin. They were also less likely to suffer from allergies or other inflammatory diseases. “Urbanization can’t be stopped,” said lead author lkka Hanski, “but perhaps we should take the planning of green spaces in cities more seriously.”

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