Allergies are a tough nut to crack for scientists, because there are so many variables involved, but according to new research from Johns Hopkins Children’s Center common antibacterial chemicals and preservatives found in soap, toothpaste and mouthwash could place children higher risk of developing many food and environmental allergies. “The link between allergy risk and antimicrobial exposure suggests that these agents may disrupt the delicate balance between beneficial and bad bacteria in the body and lead to immune system dysregulation, which in turn raises the risk of allergies,” wrote lead investigator Jessica Savage, M.D., M.H.S.