It's everywhere: in the food you eat, the clothes you wear, the makeup products you apply, the cleaning products you spray, and the hygiene products you use. That's right, chemicals. The latest debate is over the use of the chemical triclosan
- found in even ordinary antibacterial soap. As you can imagine, the ramifications of using antibacterial soap isn't pretty...
According to the Smithosonian mag website, there are many reasons to avoid using antibacterial soap:
1. It's bad for your body
: Ever heard of the term "body burden"? It's a term used to describe the onslaught of chemicals in our system and the load we carry; it becomes too much for our bodies to successfully rid of. When we have a high body burden, it's difficult for our bodies to function and detox as it should. The chemicals weigh it down. When we hold onto triclosan specifically, it can affect the endocrine system (leading to infertility and obesity), make us prone to allergies, and affect cellular activity.
2. It's bad for the environment
: Plain and simple, triclosan is difficult to remove from water, even when it's treated. It sticks around in drains long afterward. This could further keep it in our bodies because it has tainted our water. Further, it can affect the air we breathe -- it keeps algae from photosynthesizing properly and it has even been found in dolphins' fatty tissue.
3. It helps breed super-bacteria:
And it's not super as in good. I wrote an article about why we should avoid eating meat treated with antibiotics (here
) - it only makes bacteria resistant to antibiotics, and it's already happening. Ever heard of MRSA? This is a similar situation: it helps the stronger bacteria survive and multiply when the weaker are killed.
4. It's just overkill
. Really, when normal soap and water is proven to work, why use antibacterial soap and pose the threat to animals, the environment, and your own body? The FDA has ruled that there are no more benefits to using antibacterial soap. Yes, it kills more bacteria, but it doesn't prevent the spread of illnesses any better. It doesn't translate into results.
So think again next time you buy antibacterial soap - unfortunately it affects a wide scope of areas, from personal to environmental health, so hopefully one of those will speak to you and encourage you to quit. Personally, I love using the Method brand soap. The bottles are pretty swanky, anyway. :)
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My favorite non-antibacterial soap[/caption]
As much as I love the scents of Bath & Body Works antibacterial soap, it's really just not that big of a deal to switch. If you want to detox your home, using a normal hand soap is one of the easiest ways to move toward the direction of healthier living.