I’ve posted in the past about the importance of washing hands to stay healthy.  What you wash with makes a difference, too.

According to this article in thedailygreen.com, 7 Alternatives to Antibacterial Soap, a common ingredient in antibacterial soaps is triclosan which is “a toxic pesticide that’s marketed as an ‘antibacterial agent’ but is powerful enough to threaten children’s health and pollute mothers’ breast milk. ”

Very briefly, from the article:

According to a study by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), triclosan has been linked to cancer in lab animals; targeted for removal from some stores in Europe for its health and environmental risks; and recommended against use at home by the American Medical Association.  It may disrupt the thyroid hormone system; it breaks down into very toxic chemicals; and it pollutes the environment.

Some suggestion from the article for safer soap and cleaning:

  • Worry less about germs. Dr. Levy and other medical professionals note that people who are exposed to household germs usually develop stronger immune systems and are healthier overall. Aim to be clean, not germ-free.
  • Read product labels. If you see the words “antibacterial,” “kills germs,” or “triclosan,” find an alternative.
  • Talk to store managers. Tell them you’re refusing to buy antibacterial products because they threaten human health and the environment.
  • Use safe, eco-friendly cleansers: Bon Ami, Baking soda, vinegar and water, Greenworks All Natural Cleaner, Method Non-Toxic, Fragrance-Free All Surface Cleaner
  • For triclosan-free toothpaste, consider UltraBrite Advanced Whitening or Tom’s of Maine, both of which are available in most grocery and drug stores. For other alternatives, consult the Safe Cosmetics Data Base
  • For liquid hand soap, try Kiss My Face Self-Foaming Soaps.
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