“Clean your hands with gel before picking up the baby….Where’s the anti-bacterial spray?…Get those boogie wipes…Ohh don’t put your hand in there….”

I know you’ve heard this before.  We all know these moms.  The ones that carry around mini packs of anti-bacterial gel in their pockets and spray everything in sight.

Yeah…I used to be one of “those” moms.   Can I just say that I have evolved?

For a long time now, I have stopped using anti-bacterial/anti-fungal-labeled products.  I don’t think they are good for me or my family.  And, by the way, they don’t clean better than regular soap.

Nowadays, we see the anti-bacterial label all too often.  Even kitchen utensils, toys, and clothing lines make such claims.  The chemical that renders many of these products their anti-microbial properties is called Triclosan.   Not only is Triclosan known to disrupt hormonal balance in animals, but it can also increase the risk of allergies, antibiotic resistance, and learning disabilities (to name a few).  The FDA is scheduled to make its decision on whether to ban Triclosan this fall.

For more information on the environmental impact of Triclosan, listen to the Earth Wise podcast by Dr. William H. Schlesinger (from the Cary Institute on Ecosystem studies.) You can find it on  http://wamcradio.org/EarthWise/?p=2705.  

Parents should be aware of germ-fighting chemicals (Triclosan is just one of them) and check product labels.   I do have to say that I have come full circle.  Germs and I can co-exist, after all.  In fact, the more sterile our environments are, the higher the likelihood of developing allergic diseases.  “Let the kids get dirty,” my grandma used to say.  And then… use warm water and soap.

Photo courtesy of: Digital photos.net