Set of cartoon germ and viru

Has the perception of what “clean” and “hygiene” means changed? Do many people no longer worry about germs? These two questions could easily be asked after reading one recent study’s findings.

Researchers at the Royal Society for Public Health found that there's a misconception that dirt is where harmful bacteria comes from. People also seem to think germs do the body good, reports ExaminerLive.

Nearly a quarter of the people participating in the Royal Society for Public Health’s survey say hygiene in the home isn't all too important because kids need to be exposed to harmful germs unless they want a weak immune system.

“The problem is that we are not sure what being hygienic means and don’t really understand the difference between hygiene and cleanliness,” says Sally Bloomfield, a professor at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

To clean means to remove dirt and soils — just ask experts in the janitorial industry. Hygiene, according to Bloomfield, involves specific cleaning at specific times. For example, good hygiene would involve cleaning one's hands after using the toilet.

If society is going to improve, it must learn that there really isn't such as thing as being too clean.

“We now know that the exposure children need is not to infectious diseases, but microbes we share with friends and family in our natural environment.”

Those who think the misconception of what clean means only exists in the U.K. would be very mistaken.

A recent survey found that a quarter of all Americans never clean their phones. Perhaps more disturbing is the fact that 43 percent of the respondents say don't think twice about putting their phones in their mouth when they need a free hand.