Tuesday, January 19, 2010

stopping the antibacterial overload

Last week Toxic Free NC joined Beyond Pesticides and 75 other public health and environmental organizations in asking the US EPA to pull triclosan off the market.

Triclosan is the anti-bacterial ingredient found in everything from hand soap to sweat socks, and concerns are building that the over-use of this chemical could be creating resistant bacteria. Triclosan is washed down the drain and contaminates both sewage sludge and drinking water, and is linked to a wide range of environmental and health problems. The petition asserts that EPA never considered such widespread use when it first registered triclosan for use in health care settings in 1972, and that these consumer uses should not be allowed.

Good luck trying to buy a container of hand soap these days that doesn't contain triclosan, or another anti-bacterial ingredient. Even though soap and water alone are strong enough to kill over 99% of bacteria to which you might be exposed, chemical companies have exploited our germ-phobias to sell us millions of dollars worth of unnecessarily-treated antibacterial products every year.

Learn more at Beyond Pesticides. You can read the petition to the EPA by downloading it here (pdf, 400 KB). I'm off to buy a bar of old-fashioned soap.

1 comment:

Billie said...

check out our previous post - "Triclosan - the secret pesticide" for more information. http://pested.blogspot.com/2009/02/triclosan-secret-pesticide.html