Photo by AnnieGreenSprings
This month’s Simple Step is to Change Your Hand Soap!
Do you have antibacterial soap in your kitchen and bathroom? Do you know what the main ingredient is in antibacterial soap and cleaning products?
The answer is Triclosan, and we’ve talked about it here at Live Renewed before, but I think that it is important enough to talk about again. Triclosan is not something that you want hanging out in your house, on your hands and your kids hands.
I’ll link to some great information for further reading at the bottom of this post, so I don’t want to spend too much time talking about why Triclosan is so bad, but I do want to highlight some of the main reasons.
*Triclosan is an antibacterial and antimicrobial agent that kills bacteria – both good and bad bacteria.
While this may seem like a good thing, there is some bacteria that is good and helpful to us and our immune systems, and we are taking away the benefits of that good bacteria by using Triclosan based products.
*Triclosan does not kill 100% of bacteria, so there are some bad bacteria that survive and the reproduce, creating “super bacteria” that can be resistant to Triclosan and other antibiotics.
*Triclosan cannot be complete removed my waste water treatment systems, so it ends up in our lakes and rivers, and therefore in our drinking water, and therefore in our bodies and even our breast milk.
*Triclosan in the environment causes the same problems that it would cause in our homes. It kills off good and bad bacteria in the environment, but leaves some bacteria behind that then become resistant to it.
*Triclosan may have very harmful effects on our bodies and our health. There have not been significant studies done to show if triclosan is safe, and there have been many studies done that show effects like cancer, developmental defects, and hormone disruption from Triclosan exposure.
Take a Simple Step to keep Triclosan out of your home and our environment by making a change in the type of hand soap that you use in your home.
*Use castile soap. You can use castile soap as hand soap if you reuse a foaming soap dispenser and add about a Tablespoon or two of castile soap and then fill the container the rest of the way with water. This is what our family uses for hand soap in our bathroom.
This a very frugal option, because castile soap is so concentrated that a bottle will last you for a really long time when you dilute it with water to make hand soap. You can find Dr. Bronner’s brand of castile soap (the kind we use) at Target and Meijer, and probably many other mainstream retailers.
*Use “regular” soap. You can find non-antibacterial soap in the soap aisle at the store, you just have to look a little harder for it. Make sure you look for soap that does not say “antibacterial”, and check the ingredient labels to also make sure that it does not contain Triclosan.
*Use a more natural brand of soap such as Method, Kiss My Face, or Cleanwell. There are many alternatives to the mainstream brands of soap that you can find at regular stores like Target, Meijer and other grocery stores, or online, like Cleanwell.
These types of soap kill germs effectively using natural ingredients that don’t pollute the environment and harm our bodies the way that Triclosan does. We use Method soap for our kitchen hand soap.
Again, when you are deciding which brand or type of soap to use for hand soap in your home, always make sure to read lables so that you know what is in the products that you are using.
Changing your hand soap to a safe and effective type of soap, that does not contain Triclosan, is a easy and simple step to take toward removing toxic products from your home and from our environment.
Take a Simple Step: Will you switch out your antibacterial soap with a safer hand soap? Will you work to avoid products with Triclosan in your home?
Sources and Further Reading:
CDC – Antibacterial Household Products: Cause for Concern
Environmental Working Group – Information about Triclosan
Mercola.com – The Truth about Antibacterial Soaps
Environmental Working Group – Hormone disruptors
Kitchen Stewardship hosted a carnival on Getting the Antibacterials Out, her post has lots of great information, plus there are tons of great links to other blogs with ideas for cleaning and sanitizing with anti-bacterial products.