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Triclosan Antibacterial Products: And the Seven Dirty Words you can't say on Television

Posted May 27 2011 8:39am


Bad language. This idea has been immortalized by the one and only George Carlin in his controversial (and highly popular until this day) " The Seven Words you can't say on Television " monologue.

But can it really be called that… um, bad language (or dirty words), I mean?

When we were children, mothers, teachers and women at that age who had the responsibility of bringing children up used to inflict punishment on children with a 'fiery tongue'.

In a very unique way… yes, it was by making them wash their mouths with soap. Sweet memories… aren't they?

Of course, these authority figures weren't aware of the fact that the compound known as triclosan makes matter worse instead of 'cleaning your dirty mouth'.

Triclosan Antibacterial Products: So what's the deal?

Classified as a phenol in organic chemistry (which most people aren't aware of or couldn't of either), this compound ( triclosan ) is present in almost every personal care product product that is in the market today such as cosmetics, deodorants, mouthwash, toothpaste and the proverbial soap that we use to bathe with everyday. If that's not enough, it is also added to products such as computers, kitchen utensils, kids toys and so on and so forth!

To say the least, it's everywhere…

Experts have gone as far as to say that it is ineffective as an antibacterial agent and is known to cause more harm than otherwise. (Read more at this link .)

And the current controversy involving triclosan has been escalated due to the efforts of Democrat congressman known as Edward J. Markey who has clearly requested for a ban on the use of this compound in his correspondence with the Food and Drug Administration as well as Environmental Protection Agency.

If that's not enough, he has also sent thirteen letters to manufacturers of soaps, toothpaste and so on and so forth to discontinue the use of this chemical.

And perhaps, the biggest reason for this is that it is an 'endocrine disruptor', thanks to the ability of this compound to form chloroform when used with tap water.

With the formation of chloroform and the dreaded dioxins, small quantities of these recognized carcinogens can prove fatal for human beings, and thus the question as to whether or not antibacterial soap is as or more effective than regular soap is being asked time and again.

The Chinese and Canadian governments seem convinced enough by the arguments put forth and have banned this compound from being used in soaps while certain stores that sell these products in Britain have also removed them off the shelves.

And if you think this is just another hoax, think again because the very fact that government agencies such as the EPA and FDA have agreed to review the effectiveness of triclosan in everyday products suggests that something is afoot.

In Closing

In this day and age where there exists several conspiracy theories and the like, it often becomes difficult to discern between what's true or not yet the simplest approach of going green can indeed make a big difference to our lives. Yes, the simplest solution to avoid all this controversy (and fear) is to choose natural products over synthetic ones…

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