Green Tip – Avoiding Triclosan

EDITOR’S NOTE: EACH TUESDAY MY GREEN SIDE BRINGS SIMPLE TIPS FOR GREEN LIVING TO THE CHRISTOPHER GABRIEL PROGRAM. WE ALSO HIGHLIGHT A FAVORITE GREEN SITE EACH WEEK. YOU CAN STREAM THE SEGMENT AT APPROXIMATELY 1220PM (CENTRAL) EVERY TUESDAY AT WDAY.COM OR, IF YOU’RE IN NORTH DAKOTA OR WESTERN MINNESOTA, LISTEN ON YOUR RADIO AT AM970 WDAY.

GREEN TIP: Avoid things labeled “antibacterial” or “antimicrobial” that contains triclosan or triclocarban. RegularAt the farm soap and hot water to clean just as effectively without the health concerns of triclosan. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizers when you don’t have access to running water.

Triclosan and triclocarban are antibacterial chemicals commonly added to consumer products. In laboratory studies, they have been shown to disrupt hormones (for example, triclosan has been associated with lower levels of thyroid hormone) and can encourage the growth of drug-resistant bacteria or “superbugs.”

These chemicals get washed down drains and then they enter our waterways. According to the NRDC, “Triclosan is one of the most frequently detected chemicals in streams across the U.S. and both triclosan and triclocarban are found in high concentrations in sediments and sewage sludge where they can persist for decades.

In the environment, antibacterial compounds could disrupt aquatic ecosystems and pose a potential risk to wildlife. Traces of triclosan have been found in earthworms from agricultural fields and Atlantic dolphins. In the lab, triclosan has been shown to interfere with development of tadpoles into frogs, a process that is dependent on thyroid hormone.”

Visit Beyond Pesticides for a list of products that contain triclosan at http://www.beyondpesticides.org/antibacterial/products.php. I was surprised at some of the products listed, like toothpaste, ice cream scoops, paint, towels, the list goes on and on. Read your labels!

From the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s site:

FDA does not have evidence that triclosan added to antibacterial soaps and body washes provides extra health benefits over soap and water. Consumers concerned about using hand and body soaps with triclosan should wash with regular soap and water.

And this past Thursday, the Associated Press reported the FDA spokeswoman Stephanie Yao said evaluating triclosan is “one of the highest priorities” for the agency. In the meantime, protect yourself and your family from needless exposure to triclosan.

Here are some ways to avoid triclosan courtesy of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC):

  • Avoid anything labeled “antibacterial” or “antimicrobial” which contains triclosan or triclocarban, such as soaps, gels, cleansers, toothpaste, cosmetics and other personal care products.
  • Avoid other “antibacterial” or “antimicrobial” items such as cutting boards, towels, yoga mats, shoes, clothing and bedding.
  • Use regular soap and hot water to clean effectively. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizers when you don’t have access to running water.

For more information about triclosan, visit the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database at http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/706623/TRICLOSAN/.

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

Beyond Pesticides

Beyond Pesticides works with allies in protecting public health and the environment to lead the transition to a world free of toxic pesticides.

Beyond Pesticides offers the latest information on pesticides and alternatives, as well as ongoing projects including children’s health, organic food, mosquito control and organic lawn care.

Triclosan and more than 5,000 antimicrobial products are currently registered with EPA, Beyond Pesticides is leading the charge to ban the non-medical uses of one of the “most prevalent and dangerous antibacterial chemicals on the market”: triclosan.

Visit Beyond Pesticides at http://www.beyondpesticides.org/ often to get updates about triclosan and other pesticides of concern.

 

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