What lengths should you go to to protect your children from germs? When Louis Pasteur postulated that minute creatures, invisible to the human eye, were floating in the air, entering our body through our nose and mouth and causing serious illness, he wasn’t met with a very keen reception. People thought he was nuts. Now, more than a century later, the ‘germ theory of disease’ is the basis of modern pathology. But did Pasteur realize at the time that some of the solutions later invented to inhibit the spread of germs could disrupt the endocrine system, interfere with normal development and reproduction and, in fact, endanger the health of all who came into contact with them?
Not likely. But, in fact, that is exactly what happened. Two major alleged germ-fighting chemicals – triclosan and triclocarban, found in anti-bacterial soaps, cleansers, toothpastes and a variety of other products we use every day – have been suspected as dangerous for decades and virtually nothing has been done about it by regulatory bodies like the Food and Drug Administration.
Although the FDA first started looking into triclosan and triclocarbon more than 30 years ago, and in 1978 proposed a ruling that both be banned from soaps, no final ruling on the matter was ever made. Now, 32 years later, it is still in the ‘proposed’ stage.
In the meantime, studies have shown that 75 percent of Americans over the age of six now have triclosan residues in their body.
To make matters worse, it has been scientifically determined that products containing triclosan and triclocarbon aren’t any more effective at fighting germs than regular soap and water.
So, we’re being poisoned for nothing – the chemical has been found in blood, urine and even breast milk.
To remedy this situation, the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) last month filed suit against the FDA for failing to issue a final ruling that would regulate the use of triclosan and triclocarbon.
Read the full story, Lawsuit Seeks Final Rule on ‘Antibacterial’ Chemicals After 32-Year Delay, on non-toxickids.net.
It’s taken years to even put a dent in the laws regulating the chemicals used in crib mattresses, and the progress so far has been limited to the ban of just a few types of phthalates, also endocrine disruptors. Let’s hope the NRDC lawsuit motivates the FDA to take further action on triclosan and triclocarbon.
How careful do you have to be about germs with your children? You have to remember that Pasteur lived in an era where sanitation wasn’t what it is today: Most people bathed once a week, at most, and the whole family bathed in the same tub. Dad first, then mom, then the kids – all in the same water. Also, Pasteur was literally trying to convince doctors that it might be a good idea to wash their hands before they plunged them into someone’s open wound.
Today, we’re in much better shape. Almost all of us have bathrooms, bathtubs, soap and clean water. Studies show that’s really all we need – as long as we use them and take normal precautions.
Thanks to companies that make organic and natural personal care and cleaning products, we also have many non-toxic choices available for killing germs.
To keep your kids safe – from both toxic chemicals and germs – check ingredients lists for your personal care and cleaning products on labels and websites, switch to brands that don’t contain harmful chemicals, and make judicious use of the products that are available to keep your home and body clean.