By: Gabrielle Welch
Now that the cold weather is upon us, those of us who have kids (especially small ones) are even more concerned about staying healthy and germ free. It’s important to have them wash their hands with soap and water numerous times throught the day to prevent the spread of germs. However, there has been a recent trend to have them use antibac like Purell and Germ X instead of sticking with good old soap and water.
The main active ingredient in hand sanitizer, triclosan, is now under close scrutiny by the FDA, AMA and other independent advisory committees.
Triclosan is a common ingredient found in toothpaste, facewash, deodorant, personal care products and even mattresses and toothbrushes!
A U.S. FDA advisory committee has found that household use of antibac products provides no benefits over plain soap and water and the American Medical Association recommends that triclosan not be used in the home as it may actually encourage bacterial resistance to antibiotics.
Your body’s immune system may be actually lowered or compromised when introduced to a toxic foreign substance like triclosan, which makes it harder to fight off germs.
In addition, triclosan kills all bacteria, both good and bad, and our bodies need the good bacteria to stay healthy!
FACT #1: triclosan, the main ingredient in all antibac products , tends to bioaccumulate (store up) in the fatty tissue of our body and can be detected in breast milk and blood (SAmosoe-Peterson 2003). Once it’s there, it stays there.
FACT #2: Lab studies link triclosan to cancer, developmental defects, thyroid and endocrine (hormone) problems and liver and inhalation toxicity.
FACT #3: Waste water treatment does not remove all of the chemical, which means it ends up in our lakes, rivers and water sources. That’s especiallly unfortunate since triclosan is vert toxic to aquatic life (EWG).
Solution: forgo antibac soap!
The AMA says not to use it at home, go back to the “good old days” of regular soap and water, or buy an organic or natural brand of hand sanitizer or soap, like Clean Well, EO or Kiss My Face. They smell better, too!