Health experts have been talking about the dangers of antibacterial soaps for years. Recents studies have people on edge, wondering when the dangerous chemical included in common household products like toothpaste, mouthwash and even cutting boards, will be regulated.
The chemical in question is called triclosan. Independent studies in the past have linked it to everything from cancer in lab animals, thyroid disruption, to most recent studies suggesting it hinders muscle performance in the cells of animals. A statement by the Environmental Working Group says “with no assessment of health risks to infants, federal regulators have approved a hormone-disrupting pesticide, triclosan, for use in 140 different types of consumer products including liquid hand soap, toothpaste, undergarments and children’s toys. This exposure has been allowed despite the fact that the chemical ends up in mothers’ breast milk and poses potential toxicity to fetal and childhood development”.The FDA has stated that triclosan hasn’t been proven to be hazardous to human health, but in light of new studies, will begin to review its safety.
Until the chemical is “proven” to be hazardous to humans, here are a few ways that you can avoid the seemingly dangerous addition to common household items.
How to Avoid Tricolosan
1. Don’t be a germ-a-phobe. A bevy of medical experts have stated that people who are exposed to household germs, develop a better immune system. Keep things clean, not germ-free.
2. Switch to greener cleaning products. Good ‘ol vinegar and water can do wonders on a dirty home. There are plenty of other environmental and kid friendly cleaners on the market these days too. Try Bon Ami, Method cleaning products from Target, or anything made by Seventh Generation.
3. Read labels. If the products says anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, or anything about killing germs, put it back. Triclosan shows up in places you wouldn’t expect. Read ingredients of all personal care products such as deodorant, toothpaste and make-up products.
4. Buy non-toxic hand soap and wipes for babies. There are plenty of non-toxic options on the shelves today, just read the labels well. Or, you could try making your own homemade liquid soap. Its much cheaper. Find instructions here.