Thursday, January 15, 2009

Triclosan is trouble

The chemical, triclosan, is a synthetic, broad-spectrum antimicrobial agent that in recent years has
exploded onto the consumer market in a wide variety of antibacterial soaps, deodorants, toothpastes, cosmetics, fabrics,
plastics, and other products. Studies have increasingly linked triclosan to a range of health and environmental effects, from skin irritation, allergy susceptibility, bacterial and compounded antibiotic resistant, and dioxin contamination
to destruction of fragile aquatic ecosystems.

What to do? Stop using products with triclosan (like Dial Liquid Soap and Colgate Total, among many others). Find alternatives and,
  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly. Regular soaps lower the surface tension of water, and thus wash away unwanted bacteria. Lather hands for at least 10 to 15 seconds and then rinse of in warm water. It is important to wash hands often, especially when handling food, before eating, after going to the bathroom, and when someone in your house is sick.
  • Dry hands with a clean towel to help brush off any germs that did not get washed down the drain
  • Wash surfaces that come in contact with food with a detergent and water
  • Wash children’s hands and toys regularly to prevent infection
Because triclosan has become so ubiquitous in soaps and
toiletries, make sure to read all ingredients when buying
these products. There are also some essential oils that
have antimicrobial properties, such as Australian tea tree
oil, grapefruit seed extract, and pine oil.


St said...

Is it always listed as triclosan?

Lisa Snider said...

Thank you for posting this!! They are practically giving away their signature anti-bac pump hand soaps at Bath and Body Works, but why would you buy poison?!

GiGi said...

I think it has to be listed as such...I couldn't find any other names for it when I did a quick search.

GiGi said...

Because people don't know that it is indeed poison. Ugh. AND, if they do, they don't care. How sad is that?

Kelly said...

I've recently started trying to green my household cleaning, and have learned that vinegar and hot water will kill most germs and bacteria, without leaving the pesticide residue on surfaces, or the bleach fumes in your air. We don't need all these hardcore chemicals!

Kelly said...

Jill, just came across this and thought it relevant:

GiGi said...

Very cool site. Thanks, Kelly! The only problem I have with vinegar is the smell. Ugh. Have you been to Park + Vine? They have all sorts of cool green stuff.

Amy said...

Just yesterday I got rid of 5 tubes of Colgate Total, thanks to you. I had already banned antibacterial soap from the house, but I never thought to look at my toothpaste! I see triclosan in more and more products. Did you know that Target sells socks with triclosan in them?

GiGi said...

Socks? WTF? I only use Tom's of Maine. Any thing that goes in my mouth cannot have an "in case of accidental overdose" label on it. Seriously. That said, I do drink gallons of diet coke. So...