Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Antibacterial products

I wrote a post on the Health and Wellness girl about antimicrobial products. Here it is, copied word for word :)

We carry them with us where ever we go, and have them in our cars and purses for those times we need to be clean. We shave with antibacterial shaving cream and brush our teeth with antibacterial toothpaste. We set our food on our antimicrobial counter. We use antibacterial underwear and socks. As great as it sounds to be bacteria free, is it such a great idea?

Have you ever heard of Triclosan? It's a chemical used in antibacterial wipes, soaps, toothpastes and other products. It is considered an endocrine disruptor. Let's talk about the body a little. We have endocrine glands all over our bodies. They release hormones and these hormones are on a mission: they are are like keys looking for just the right lock in our cells to hook up with. Once they hook up, the lock, or receptor will carry out the hormone's instructions.
The endocrine system regulates all biological processes in the body from birth to grave. Things like development of the brain and nervous system, making sure our metabolism is working right as well as regulating blood sugar for example. All very important things, wouldn't you agree? Our not so good friends Triclosan and BPA for example are endocrine disruptors. That means that they can mimic the natural hormones in our body and hook up with these receptors. What's the big deal about that? Well, the huge deal is that they can fool the body into over-responding to stimulus or responding at inappropriate times. They can also block the effects of the natural hormones or just simply cause an overproduction or underproduction of the natural hormones.
The FDA has finally come around and said that triclosan might be an endocrine disruptor and not so good for us or even the animals and ecosystems on our planet. Scary! Here is a quote from Rodale's website:
"By continually using antimicrobial products and keeping ourselves in such sterile environments, the authors suggested, our immune systems aren't challenged and don't build up the natural defenses we need to ward off allergens. The EPA has also noted that triclosan can be contaminated with the cancer-causing chemical dioxin, which gets released as triclosan breaks down in either consumer products or in the environment. Dioxin can also form when triclosan-treated clothes, such as athletic wear, are exposed to sunlight."
Need I say more? You can easily avoid triclosan or its evil cousin triclocarban by reading the labels. If they appear on the list, stay away from that product! To keep it out of your home, avoid buying anything antimicrobial, microban or biofresh (sheets, towels, counter tops, cutting boards and even lunch bags). The levels of these nasty chemicals drop pretty rapidly as long as they are not being used.
In the Health and Wellness Girl's house we have abandoned all antimicrobial products and will not be using them. EVER! We use pure essential oils to fight the nastiest of germs and microbes. To find out more, please contact me.
As always my little possums, don't take my word for it. Do the research yourself and then do what you think is right for your family. Till next time!

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