There is yet another reason not to use antibacterial products (other than those outlined here), and its name is Triclosan. Triclosan is a antibacterial and antifungal agent that has been used in the US since 1972 in toothpastes, deodorants, soaps and shaving creams. The physical makeup of the chemical acts as a functional group to both ethers and phenols (which in trials have shown antibacterial properties). However, the products in among some 300 others chemicals currently being closely examined by the EPA currently and it looks as though it will be banned in the US shortly.
Studies have shown that the chemical is mildly effective in toothpastes to fight gingivitis, but very ineffective in other products. But that apparently didn’t stop companies from adding the chemical into their products to give boasting rights that their (insert bathroom product) contained bacteria fighting agents…never mind they didn’t actually work. Aside from the relatively needless inclusion of this chemical, it’s actually quite dangerous.
Aside from the allergic reactions from quite a few children country wide over the last decade or so. The chemical is proving to be a significant endocrine disrupter (causing thyroid problems), and fairly carcinogenic (via uncontrolled cellular growth). Plus recent studies have shown the chemical has been linked to birth defects. A web site maintained by a Dr. Ben Kim has a list of products that have in the past contained Triclosan, and although many dental care products have claimed to remove the chemical, it still good to do your homework and check things out yourself before buying. So while many companies are voluntarily revamping their products and the EPA carries on its research, one company has yet to respond to the issue. Bath and Body works, though seemingly very aware of the major health concerns of Triclosan continues to push antibacterial soaps, lotions and gels that contain chemical with no sign of letting up. Food and Water watch an organization designed to alert folks of such health concerns has drafted up a letter form that you can simply sign and send off to show your concern and support for this issue.
Be sure to check personal and home cleaning products for Triclosan and avoid using them at all cost. If you don’t feel up to keeping up with organizations like Food and Water Watch for health concerns, feel free to check back here any time I will keep updating as I get news about dangerous products.