The Hazards of Antibacterial Products
Antibacterial cleaning supplies are not necessarily the best for your home and family. Furthermore, they have a detrimental impact on our environment.
Approximately 10 years ago antibacterial cleaners were introduced into our homes as the cleaning agent of choice. Although antibacterial cleaning agents are not really a new idea, they have been used in hospitals for some time to combat germs.
The first antibacterial products introduced to the public were kitchen and bathroom cleaners. Today there are over 700 products containing antibacterial agents, such as triclosan (a common ingredient in antibacterial products). The public is being bombarded with advertisement for antibacterial products and cleaners. Among the newest products are food storage containers and plastic wrap. Unfortunately people are purchasing these products thinking they are protecting their families from germs when in reality they are creating super-germs that are resistant to antibacterial products.
Furthermore, the use of antibacterial products has a detrimental impact on our environment. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has registered triclosan as a pesticide, and the chemical formulation and molecular structure of this compound are similar to some of the most toxic chemicals on earth, relating it to dioxins and PCBs. The EPA gives triclosan high scores both as a human health risk and as an environmental risk. The toxin from antibacterial cleaning products can often times remain on counter surfaces and utensils, do you want your family ingesting this toxin? Additionally, the overuse of antibacterial products is weakening the immune system by hindering the natural process of inhibiting germs.
The Santa Clara Basin Watershed Management concluded the following findings on the toxin triclosan in 2006:
The American Medical Association has not endorsed the necessity or efficacy of triclosan and other antibacterial agents in personal care products
Antibacterial agents and their degradation products are found in many tested U.S. surface waters, including San Francisco Bay
One such agent, triclosan is acutely and chronically toxic to aquatic organisms
Triclosan bioaccumulates in fish and human tissue
Triclosan may degrade into other toxic compounds
Triclosan may encourage antibiotic resistance in pathogenic bacteria.
Physicians indicate that the best germ fighting measure continues to be the actual act of hand washing with regular soap, or for extra assurance, alcohol or peroxide-based hand sanitizers
In conclusion, antibacterial products play an important part in providing a sterile environment. They are a necessity in Hospitals and Laboratories. However, antibacterial products should be avoided in the home, or at least used modestly. There are much safer alternatives that do not create super germs, degrade our water quality and harm the overall health of the environment.
For safe and natural cleaners visit Creating a Healthy Home
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Independent distributor of Shaklee products, a leader in nutrition, wellness and eco-friendly products for over 50 years. Shaklee was green before it was cool. When purchasing green cleaning supplies, buyer beware, look for the green certification seal. Visit http://www.shaklee.net/carolbelanger