Make a Mud Box
My last post was about kids, gardens, and lead contamination in our urban soil. My intent was not to scare parents from letting their kids dig in the dirt, but to make people aware of the lead issue so they can strategize on ways to create or find cleaner dirt on a property as needed – for kids to dig and explore. A shovel, stick, bowl of water, and dirt can keep a kid occupied for hours, and it’s a symbiotic relationship: researchers are finding that exposure to the microbes, bacteria, and even parasites in the dirt helps us build our immune systems. They say the increase in allergies, asthma and other auto-immune disorders may be attributed to recent generations playing outdoors less and less. Time to set up a mud box!
On a related note – these findings reinforce the message that households should steer clear of anti-bacterial soaps or cleaning products. The active ingredients in these products are potentially harmful to humans and the environment, and evidence points to overly sterile environments as possibly leading to more asthma and allergies. Elbow grease and plain soap and water are effective cleaners. For more info on safer cleaning, look here in the Common Sense Guide for Consumers.