Years ago my husband Bob had a conversation with a co-worker about the additives in the fast foods he ate every day for lunch. He asked the guy,“Does it worry you that these chemicals maybe unhealthy for you?
The guy replied,
“I love this stuff and I’m building up a resistance to the harmful effects by eating like this regularly.”
My husband responded,
“That resistance just might be called cancer.”
Where do you stand when you here the latest information about something that COULD be bad for you? As I have been getting more involved with gardening Organic Gardening magazine now pops up on my email, almost daily so I get to read a lot of this news breaking information. Today the subject I thought I should share as it is particularly appropriate for spa people as the subject is about the problems with antibacterial cleaners.
The latest villain is Triclosan an ingredient in almost every “antibacterial” product from dish soaps to your toothpaste. Like many of the chemicals in common household use today Triclosan is known to interfere with human hormones and is suspected of contributing to a rise in antibiotic-resistant bacteria. But wait there’s more!
It could be damaging your heart and muscle tissue.
University of California, Davis found that even moderate triclosan exposure significantly reduced muscular strength and cardiac function in mice and slowed the swimming pace of fish.
Even the FDA does not acknowledge that there are additional benefits to using this ingredient and maintain that good old soap and hot water is just as effective. Tufts University reports Triclosan in soap breaks down when exposed to chlorinated water, rendering it ineffective. What they don’t say is that it also reacts with the chlorine to form chloroform, a carcinogen. The only reason that it is there is the new and improved excuse or that someone had to make their money back on the deal as far as I am concerned.
What to DO?
• Skip "antibacterial" everything. It can pop up in unexpected places like the insoles of your sport shoes or the lining of a pillow case. Be suspicious of anything that says "germ-killing," "antibacterial," or "odor-killing". Unbelievably it does not have to be listed as an ingredient in household items. You will find it on the label of personal care products.
• Check your personal care products. For a great source of information about “safe” products check the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep database. As you know the skin is an organ of absorption this is particularly so in the mouth, under the arms and on the soles of the feet so check toothpaste, deodorant and soaps particularly carefully.
• Have faith in hot water. Maybe Granny was onto something, it seems regular old soap and hot water cannot be beat.
My opinion – it took centuries to discover that maybe Rome fell because they were all just a little mad from the lead in their revolutionary pumping systems and decades for us to find that certain plastics are really disruptive to our hormone. So, when I read a report like this I tend to ere on the side of caution and go as green as I can and extend the wish that the world comes to its senses one day so none of us has to suffer, mouse, fish, factory worker or grandchild.