So here we go...
Our society likes to make a fuss about swear words (fair enough), but how is it we don't cringe when we hear words like triclosan? Let me tell you -- it's much more harmful to our health than a F-bomb. Seriously.
Dr. Ben Kim, writing for the site BeyondPesticides.org, lists the health warnings as well as some pretty surprising places where triclosan is hiding out.
First, let's look at why we should avoid triclosan according to Dr. Kim. It can cause
- problems with the endocrine system -- especially troubling is its effect on the thyroid
- weakening of the immune system
- birth defects
- uncontrolled cell growth (I don't know what that means, but it sounds scary, don't you think?)
- unhealthy weight loss -- we're talking about when the pounds start falling off and you haven't reduced your dining to a few celery stalks a day
So, where do you think you'd find triclosan? In all those antibacterial soaps, right? Well, of course. But did you know it's also in some toothpastes and mouthwashes? Spit that stuff out! Yuck. Not seeing it on the ingredients listed? Try looking for these instead: Microban® Additive B, Irgasan® (DP 300 or PG 60), Biofresh®, Lexol-300, Ster-Zac or Cloxifenolum. Triclosan in disguise.
Okay, let's switch to cosmetics. Here's a surprising one for you -- triclosan is an ingredient in the brand Jason Natural Cosmetics. Once again, it's evident we cannot trust the word "natural." Some of the other cosmetics listed (which is a partial list, I'm sure) are Supre® Cafe Bronzer™, TotalSkinCare Makeup Kit, Garden Botanika®Powder Foundation, Mavala Lip Base, Blemish Cover Stick, Movate®Skin Lightening Cream HQ, Paul Mitchell Detangler Comb, Revlon ColorStay LipSHINE Lipcolor Plus Gloss, and Dazzle.
So let's move on to some other personal care products. Deodorant. I only use non-toxic deodorants, personally, but I was once again surprised by the name of one of them -- Queen Helene®Tea Tree Oil Deodorant and Aloe Deodorant -- Tea Tree Oil?! Aloe?! Beware of those who will suck you in with their natural and "healthy" sounding names!
Then there are shave gels, acne treatments, and even Diabet-x™ Cream. First aid products are another tricky category -- from antiseptics to medicated sprays to cervical collars with Microban. Look out.
From medicine chest to kitchen cupboard, beware of Farberware® Microban Steak Knife Set and Cutting Boards. Looks like that Microban is bad stuff, huh? You'll want to stay away from the Hobart Semi-Automatic Slicer and the Compact Web Foot® Wet Mop Heads, too. Oh brother.
You'll even want to steer clear of Microban in your office -- Fellowes Cordless Microban Keyboard and Microban Mouse Pad may sound like a healthy option, but they're harboring the T-word. Stay away!
Clothing is even an issue. Dickies, Fruit of the Loom, and Biofresh® socks are just some of the items you don't want touching your skin. Even Merrell Shoes and Sabatier Chef's Aprons are unsafe.
Of course, as parents and grandparents, we're especially concerned about the kiddos. So, here's a list of toys from Playskool® that contain triclosan:
- Stack 'n Scoop Whale
- Rockin' Radio
- Sounds Around Driver
- Roll 'n' Rattle Ball
- Animal Sounds Phone
- Busy Beads Pal
- Pop 'n' Spin Top
- Lights 'n' Surprise Laptop
According to BeyondPesticides.org, here is a list of miscellaneous items you want to avoid if you don't want to be affected by triclosan: Bionare® Cool Mist Humidifier; Deciguard AB® Antimicrobial Ear Plugs; Bauer® Re-Akt hockey helmet and 7500 hockey helment; Miller Paint Acro Pure Interior Paint; Holmes Foot Buddy™ HMH120U Antimicrobial Foot Buddy Foot Warmer, Blue Mountain Wall Coverings, California Paints®, Davis Paint® Perfection, Hirschfield’s Paint®,O’Leary Paint®, EHC AMRail Escalator Handrails, Dupont™ Air Filters, Winix Dehumidifiers, J Cloth® towels, select Quickie cleaning products, Kimberly Clark® WYPALL X80 Towels, Canopy® kitchen towels, ALUF Plastics®, BioEars earplugs, Petmate® LeBistro feeders and waterers, Infantino cart covers and baby carriers, Oreck XL®, Bissell Healthy Home Vacuum™, NuTone® Central Vacuum systems, Rival® Seal-A-Meal® Vacuum Food Sealer, CleenFreek SportsHygiene Yoga Mat, Resilite Sports Products, Rubbermaid® Coolers, Stufitts sports gear, Venture Products® fitness mats, Custom Building Products, DAP®Kwik Seal Plus®, Laticrete, Niasa Biquichamp® mortar grout and sealant, ProAdvanced Products.
Of course, this is not a comprehensive list. There is triclosan lurking all around us. You have to be proactive in keeping your family safe as best you can. Keep in mind, too, that many companies are quietly removing toxins month by month. The above products did, at one time and most likely still, contain triclosan. Read labels, be informed, and sign the pledge to ban triclosans from your home. Also, if you want to do more, follow BeyondPesticides.org on their FB page or Twitter account and click here to take a survey about antibacterial soap.
Taking action and keeping you informed,