Friday, December 13, 2013

The Best Hand Soap for Cold Season

Germs, germ, everywhere germs. Well, not really. Still, we should probably do our best to keep our hands clean so we don't pick up the latest cold or flu bug going around.

This means reaching for the best bottle of antibacterial hand wash, right? Wrong! There's no evidence that washing with antibacterial soaps decreases our risk of catching the cold or flu. Also triclosan is a pesticide that is the active ingredient in most antibacterial soaps.

Here's what the FDA says about triclosan:
Animal studies have shown that triclosan alters hormone regulation. However, data showing effects in animals don’t always predict effects in humans. Other studies in bacteria have raised the possibility that triclosan contributes to making bacteria resistant to antibiotics.
So the FDA is still studying whether triclosan is safe or not. Good news is you, me, and the kids who are our future get to be test subjects. Hooray!

The Environmental Working Group also warns:
[Triclosan] affects the natural environment. Wastewater treatment does not remove all of the chemical, which means it ends up in our lakes, rivers and water sources. That's especially unfortunate since triclosan is very toxic to aquatic life.
The best hand soap for cold season is just regular ol' soap. I love Dr. Bronner's Castile Bar Soap because it's free of synthetic fragrance, contains organic, fair trade ingredients, and it's relatively inexpensive considering the quality.

Skip the antibacterial poisons and instead focus on washing your hands thoroughly for twenty seconds. Try singing a verse of Happy Birthday in your head (or out loud if you want- hey, you might make some restroom friends) to keep time.

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