Do One Thing: Avoid The Antibacterial Soaps.

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We have not used antibacterial soaps in our house for years, yet no bugs have come along to kill us yet. The fact is is that the increased usage of antibacterial everything is actually going to make us sicker in the long run. From Mother Jones magazine (one of our favorites), I wanted to share a few facts about our “war on germs”:

  • In 1993 there were only a few dozen antibacterial products. Today there are more than 9,000.
  • In 2005, an FDA advisory panel concluded that antibacterial soap is no better than regular soap for preventing infection.
  • Triclosan, the active ingredient in many antimicrobial soaps, has been detected in women’s breast milk and 58% of US waterways. (I wrote about the dangers of Tricolsan before.)
  • A 2007 study found that adults who regularly use household cleaning sprays are 30-50% more likely to develop asthma.
  • In 1974, 2% of staph infections were resistant to antibiotics; today, more than 60% are.

We are actually doing way more harm than good by coating our lives with antibacterials sprays, lotions, soaps and gels. In doing this so much, we are creating superbugs that will adapt and become immune to our products…which in turn could make us all very, very sick. Also, all these antibacterial products end up in septic tanks and sewage treatment plants, where they kill off the good microbes needed to digest our waste. We need germs in order to survive as a species! So next time you reach for the antibacterial stuff at the store, think twice – and realize that regular old soap cleans just as well without doing anything harmful to our germs or our environment.

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Comments

  1. Scary…

    I don’t use the stuff, Dr Bronner’s works great for me, but I see enough people who do…and that hand sanitizer stuff seems even scarier to me. Just not right to make the little buggers even stronger then before, seems to defeat the intended purpose.

  2. It’s because people only think of what they are doing now and not any long-term repercussions. Dr. Bronner’s is great soap!

  3. The biggest thing though is that all these antibacterial soaps with chemicals up the wazoo go directly into the water supply.

    What about those nasty lysol wipes – they are poison. I am truly feeling sorry for kids who are constantly wiped by those antibacterial wipes and soaps by their over-zealous and uninformed parents, teachers and guardians.

    I always wonder why we wash our bodies with stuff we wouldn’t feed to our babies.

    That should be the benchmark.

    If its ingredients are healthy enough to be nutritious for a baby, then make the stuff.

    Otherwise, buh bye phoney soap.

  4. Method is a good one, and you can buy bottles of Dr. Bronners to fill up an old bottle with. Also, try Whole Foods or Trader Joes, they have great stuff

  5. I really don’t like using them, but I can’t even FIND handsoap that isn’t antibacterial, at least not in the regular grocery stores.

  6. No worries.

    Anti bacterial comes in nature too.

    Try Tea Tree Oil Soap. Tea Tree oil comes from the Tea Tree in Australia. It is a natural antiseptic/anti bacteria oil used for thousands of years by the Aboriginal peoples in Australia. It smells really good too 🙂

    You may try going to a Whole Foods Store or a Trader Joe’s – or maybe just a local farm store or health food store.

    Or just go to http://www.drbronner.com/

  7. “Vegeta, what does the scouter say about the number of antibacterial products?!”
    “It’s OVER NINE THOUSAAAND!” *crunch*

    Dragon Ball Z probably won’t help us reduce the number of harmful products we use, but it’s funny anyway.

  8. I don’t use the stuff, never have but I know soooo many that do and try educating them is near impossible.
    They have it on their keychains, in their purses, at work, on their desk, in their car…everywhere!

    Yet, they’re sick & have issues and my household doesn’t and they just don’t get the connection.

    Likewise these same people run around with stupid clorox wipes and lysol and in my household we use homemade cleaners and essential oils..no illness, no sickness but the others with their chemical garbage again sick/issues.

    When will people grasp what’s going on?

  9. I don’t use the stuff, never have but I know soooo many that do and try educating them is near impossible.
    They have it on their keychains, in their purses, at work, on their desk, in their car…everywhere!

    Yet, they’re sick & have issues and my household doesn’t and they just don’t get the connection.

    Likewise these same people run around with stupid clorox wipes and lysol and in my household we use homemade cleaners and essential oils..no illness, no sickness but the others with their chemical garbage again sick/issues.

    When will people grasp what’s going on?

  10. Just my opinion, but I would much rather wash my hands(and body!)with a natural bar soap that contains coconut, olive, and essential oils than the antibacterial stuff. My skin is extremely sensitive to the antibacterial soaps and gels. These products cause my skin to become overly dry and itchy.

  11. Thanks everyone. This was a great post to read! I am a teacher and they always say to make the kids wash their hands a million times a day! I make them wash up before they eat lunch but that’s honestly the only time I’m zealous about it. They will pass along bugs to each other regardless- at least that way they gain some immunities! I rarely get sick anymore even when my whole class is sick and I’ve only taught 2 years. I’m going to go to the store and look for these safe soaps you are talking about! 🙂

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