The Dirty Truth About Getting Clean

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Bubbles in orange liquid soap

Infection, illness, fever, chills and more….nobody wants it!  That’s precisely what the idea of anti-microbial soaps and products was designed to cater to….our fears of getting sick!

A recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science demonstrated the dangers behind this practice.  The conclusion of the study out of the University of California, San Diego Medical School is simply that triclosan, the most widely used antimicrobial chemical, causes liver scarring and cancer.

That’s a heavy price tag for clean hands!

Amazingly, triclosan is the number one antimicrobial used commercially in the United States.  Pick up a bottle of shampoo, your dishwashing soap, deodorant and even your toothpaste and your more than likely to find it on the label!  What’s a bit more disturbing is the presence of this substance nearly everywhere….including inside you and me! In sampling of mother’s breast milk around the country, 97% of the women tested had triclosan in the milk from their breasts.  In sampling of urine around the country from both sexes, 75% of all urine samples were noted to contain triclosan.  Distressingly, it is one of the top seven commercial chemicals found throughout America’s waterways, including streams and creeks.

Triclosan has previously been shown to disrupt the hormone systems in our bodies and cause abnormal muscle contracture.  This might be worth weighing how to continue its use if it were such an effective product….unfortunately, research has also demonstrated it has precious little benefit in this regard.  In monitoring the numbers of respiratory and gastrointestinal infections with and without the use of triclosan….there is NO difference!  Isn’t that why so many families use these antimicrobial substances?  In fact, another study looking at chronically ill individuals found those who incorporated the use of antimicrobials with triclosan were actually more likely to suffer a higher incidence of fever, runny nose and cough.  Further, the CDC (Center for Disease Control) recommended nearly ten years ago the cessation of its use.  In addition, more than five years ago, research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association noted the lack of effectiveness, the hazards present and also recommended stopping the use of such antimicrobials.

So what’s a person to do?  Keep it simple!  Remember…simple, non-antimicrobial soaps are just as effective…so don’t complicate it.  Read labels and avoid products that contain triclosan.  Remarkably, simple glycerin soaps, even diluted will do the job wonderfully.  One favorite of the office is Dr. Bronner’s Glycerin Soap….one part simple liquid soap to five parts water in a hand foaming dispenser and you have smooth, clean, non-infectious and SAFE hands!

So wash up!!

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