A baby robot told how many germs and dust babies breathe

Scientists have experimentally proved that crawling on the carpet baby breathes 4 times more microbes and dust than adults. But is it so bad?

Researchers from Purdue University have developed an unusual robot in an experiment designed to show how microbes and small children interact in the most ordinary house. They made a foil-wrapped botless foot, which frightfully realistically imitated a child crawling on the belly. After the launch, the robot crawled along the carpets taken from real apartments, after which the adult volunteer also went through the same path. While the experiment lasted, special filters on the site collected air samples, and laser detectors tracked the movement of the smallest particles of dust and biological structures.

Why was it necessary? According to the engineer Brandon Bour, the lead author of the study, modern equipment used to track biological agents, highlights bacterial cells, fungal spores and pollen, causing them to fluoresce on the instrument screen. Thus, scientists clearly were able to distinguish between bioparticles and ordinary dust. As it turned out, while moving crawling on the carpet, the baby creates a cloud of dust, which is 20 times the visible trace. As a consequence, a child with each breath swallows 4 times more biological objects than an adult, because it is closest to the source of pollution. In addition, it should be noted that the body of an adult man is much better at cleaning up the airways due to the formed immunity and developed nasopharynx.

Does this mean that small children should be kept in any way from contact with the floor? I think no. On the contrary, this “excessive” infection of the body with external agents serves an excellent training for the immune system of the child: without it, it simply does not have enough strong immunity. Studies have repeatedly confirmed that people who grow up in “dirty” from the biological point of view of places (on farms, in villages, in an environment with a large number of animals, etc.), immunity is much stronger than the average inhabitant of the megalopolis, and autoimmune diseases appear much less often.

However, do not forget about the banal rules of hygiene. Regular cleaning, perhaps, will not make the apartment or house sterile, but will definitely help to avoid inhaling excess dust and bacteria for the whole family.