Triclosan, the active ingredient in most anti-bacterial soaps, is being detected in human breast milk and urine. It is not clear how serious this problem is, but it could be problematic. Over 75% of all liquid soaps used in the US contain this potentially harmful chemical. Link.
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The title itself is surprising, let alone the information in it. One of the first questions I thought of when reading this is, obviously, what is the solution. The reason this is peculiar is because it is a chemical that is harming dolphins that we use for very important tasks, such as brushing teeth, which is vital to our own health. This is something that is not only in toothpaste, which is created, but also comes from breast milk, which is a very natural process. I wonder why this information has come out only recently? It would seem these uses have been out for a long time and that the effects would have taken place a long time ago.
Since my wife and I discovered the information on Triclosan, we’ve been looking for alternatives. For instance, we use the same natural, biodegradable, phosphate free product (Seventh Generation) for hand-washing and dish-washing. I am an eight-years and counting cancer survivor, and I try very hard not to put anything into my body that would reduce my natural defenses.
There have been concerns about triclosan for a while, but the industry lobby has powerful interests in it’s use – they’re heavily invested in it. Apparently, triclosan builds antibiotic resistance in humans – so preferably, one would want to use something that doesn’t hurt this natural ability to fight bacteria. Here’s another link: http://www.rachel.org/en/newsletters/precaution_reporter/176#Incautious-approval-of-germ-killer?
We use a soap called – Method, which is triclosan free. It’s available at Target and Costco. See http://www.methodhome.com/products-hands-body.aspx
While I applaud your use of an alternative product, I question your choice of retailer. The big-box stores can also be very environmentally destructive. Personally, I try to avoid them whenever possible.
Just one of many viewpoints on this subject: http://www.sierraclub.org/sprawl/reports/big_box.asp
You made a good point about the retailers. I guess it boils down to basic issues such as convenience, price, availability, etc.