Whoever said “cleanliness is next to godliness” would think pretty highly of modern-day America. Never before has a population so committed itself to rubbing, scrubbing, sterilizing and disinfecting itself from the grit and grime of the natural world. And for good reason: global trade and travel have allowed viruses to hop from country to country via innocent workers and tourists.
But while our zeal for cleaning is well-intentioned, our efforts are often misguided. In the case of antibacterials, we may be doing ourselves harm.