The governing body even goes as far as to say that these agents can do more harm than good. Understandably, this has led to manufacturers pulling hand soap and body wash products containing triclosan and triclocarban from supermarket shelves (toothpastes will continue to use them, especially triclosan).
WHY YOU MAY WANT TO STOP USING ANTIBACTERIAL SOAP IMMEDIATELY
This has not as yet extended to other chemicals like benzalkonium chloride, benzethonium chloride, and chloroxylenol, but the FDA has given makers of antibacterial soap twelve months to show that these do kill germs effectively and are harmless to humans. These will still be available to the general public while data is gathered throughout the year. Also under the microscope will be hand sanitizers and products used in hospitals. The recommended hand sanitizer, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is alcohol-based with at least 60% alcohol content.
So what can happen if you continue to use these soaps over a prolonged period of time? Joseph Stromberg of The Smithsonian Magazine has the inside track:
1. Antibacterial soaps are no more effective than conventional soap and water (already mentioned here).
2. Antibacterial soaps have the potential to create antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
3. The soaps could act as endocrine disruptors.
4. The soaps might lead to other health problems, too.
5. Antibacterial soaps are bad for the environment.
HERE’S MORE INFO ON EACH OF THE POINTS WE MADE ABOVE:
1. See above.
2. These chemicals, especially triclosan, can mutate the bacteria, making them resistant to antibiotics. Heavy usage of such chemicals will kill most germs, but leave behind the mutated ones to reproduce and wreak havoc, making treatment a lot more difficult.
3. Triclosan also interrupts the regulation of the thyroid hormone of rats and frogs, which could mean the following problems for humans: infertility, artificially-advanced premature puberty, obesity, and cancer.
4. High exposure to triclosan can increase a child’s chances of developing allergies due to the lesser amount of bacteria that a child has to deal with, according to scientific speculation. Evidence has shown that the chemical agent can interfere with muscle contractions in human cells. It is also understood that it can penetrate the skin and enter the blood stream faster than originally thought.
5. Because of the vast quantities of triclosan used in soaps, the chemical can remain after treatment in sewage plants, thus disrupting algae’s need to photosysthise. There is also the risk of the chemical being stored within different food chains in seas and vessels of fresh water globally.
We must use extreme caution with whatever we consume, and we must ask questions regarding the safety of products and not just take someone’s word for it. You have the right to buy chemical-free soap and not expose your body to any harmful chemicals.
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