People of earth; regular day-to-day, non-medical personnel or police personnel:
PLEASE. PLEASE stop using antibacterial soaps and antibacterial household cleaners. I’m not trying to scare both of you, but here’s the truth:
Do you know what’s happening because of our
country’s planet’s truly bizarre and scary obsession with germs? We are getting sicker and the antibiotics we’re taking aren’t working. As a result, they’re going to the gym, working out and meeting other germs and rocking the hell out of us with their SuperGerms. MRSA, anyone? Read on.
You know, how when you exercise too much, you get worn down? Or if you eat the same foods, you get sick of them or you can develop intolerances to them? Or how if you wash your hands all the time (that’s one thing) but unnecessarily with antibacterial soap that you end up putting its tricolsan in the water supply and the environment and what happens when you keep doing that? You’re basically telling the germs you love them. The germs and bacteria don’t need to go to the gym to workout and meet others, because what we’re doing is killing off the common bacterial we can handle and that is good for us (ever heard of the word, “probiotic” or “good bacteria”? — it’s true… there are bacteria that are good for us…) and that these soaps don’t know the difference between good and bad bacteria, just like your adrenal glands don’t know the difference between good stress (YAY! WE WON THE LOTTERY!) and bad stress (CRAP! WE HAVE TO DECLARE BANKRUPTCY!) and they end up secreting waaaaaay too much cortisol which makes you fat around your organs and your belly…? (The cortisol thing is a topic for another post — I know too much about this stuff.)
The point is: wash your hands with regular soap and regular water. Just do it. Regular soap removes everything you don’t need on your hands exactly as it should. If you don’t work in a hospital or medical office or in an ambulance or police station or health clinic or dentist’s office or school clinic:
LAY OFF THE ANTIBACTERIAL SOAP.
Just leave it alone. Leave it for the doctors. Leave it for the EMTs for the nurses, for the dentists for the people who actually need it. Good God just leave it alone. The execs at the antibacterial soap manufacturers? They don’t care. They want to scare the hell out of you to get you to buy it. They want you to line their pockets with gold so they can build their panic rooms and safe houses to keep you away from them when all bacterial hell breaks loose. Trust me: they don’t care about you.
Watch this… it will illustrate it humorously:
Eat off the floor. Increase the 5-second rule to 10, you will live better for it! TRUTH.
I realize I can’t moanandgroan about this without providing solutions: use Ivory, Dove, Method, even softsoap makes a regular soap now, I think it’s called “SoftClean” or something ridiculously brand-specific like that. Bath and Body Works are some of the
worst? best? most active promoters of the antibacsoaps. They make them smell like fruit salads so you think you’re cleaner but you’re not; you’re hurting yourself and the rest of us. DON’T BUY THEM.
What to else to buy? I love the fancy “Caldrea” pump soaps at Target (my favorite is “green tea” – I swear, I could get stoned off it, I love the way it smells so much, ask my kids, I sniff them like a bear would when they come out of the bathroom), there’s a great soap here: http://www.vitacost.com/natures-gate-organics-liquid-soap-lemongrass-and-clary-sage-12-fl-oz and all national big box stores sell all sorts of regular soaps.
A nurse friend of mine commented on my FB page about hand-washing, that actually all any soap does is loosen the dirt, etc. The hand-rubbing and chlorinated water usually do the trick. Live on well water? Same thing. YOU WILL LIVE. Probably better than you do now if you toss the antibacsoaps.
As a blogger friend said to me today, “the germophobes are going to kill us all; as if the Howie Mandels of the world are the predominant normal people.”
Don’t go all boo-hoo on me either. I hail from a long proud and stubborn line of clinically diagnosed and treated Obsessive Compulsives, so don’t tell me I’m making fun or being insensitive to those with OCD. I’m NOT. I’m just one person, who’s been unable to shake a cold for the last 4 weeks and who’s watched every single one of her kids go down for illnesses they should have been able to beat but probably couldn’t because their schools are loaded with antibacterial soaps. In the past month my sons have come down with strep and today, Scarlet fever (which is strep, I know that) but this is NUTS…
they we never get sick here. Truly very seldom.
Think I’m full of crap? Go here (data from an environmental ONCOLOGY — you know: “CANCER” center):
“Antibacterial soap and disinfectants may contain triclosan or other active ingredients classified by the EPA as pesticides. Studies by government scientists have shown that regular use of antibacterial soap allows bacteria to become resistant to them and can irritate the skin, especially the skin of infants and children. In fact, in 2005, an FDA panel, in an 11 to 1 vote, warned that popular mass-marketed antibacterial soaps and washes showed no evidence of preventing infections more effectively than hand washing with regular soap.
The FDA asked for the panel’s advice because of concerns that common antimicrobial agents used in the soaps, such as triclosan and triclocarban, that can also be found in products ranging from deodorants to plastics, accumulate in groundwater and soil. As they build up in the environment, these chemicals could eventually contaminate drinking water and farmed food. This could give rise to potentially dangerous resistant bacteria.
Several experts caution that even the potential risk of resistance may not be worth continued mass marketing of soaps that have no proven benefit to consumers. Drug-resistant bacteria are considered a major health threat by public health experts. Some strains, including S. aureus (staph), have shown increased levels of resistance to multiple antibiotics. The safest solution is to wash your hands frequently for 15 seconds at a time with warm soapy water and using paper towels or air drying to avoid transmitting infections.”
“You know when your doctor prescribed a course of antibiotics and told you to take the entire prescription? You really should’ve listened. Thanks to millions of misused antibiotic prescriptions worldwide (how many half-empty bottles are in your medicine cabinet right now?), the bacteria you intend to kill are getting stronger. In fact, some bacteria — like the MRSA superbug — are immune to select antibiotics.”
“Tuberculosis, food poisoning, cholera, pneumonia, strep throat and meningitis: these are just a few of the unsavory diseases caused by bacteria. Hygiene—keeping both home and body clean—is one of the best ways to curb the spread of bacterial infections, but lately consumers are getting the message that washing with regular soap is insufficient. Antibacterial products have never been so popular. Body soaps, household cleaners, sponges, even mattresses and lip glosses are now packing bacteria-killing ingredients, and scientists question what place, if any, these chemicals have in the daily routines of healthy.”
… Unlike these traditional cleaners, antibacterial products leave surface residues, creating conditions that may foster the development of resistant bacteria, Levy notes. For example, after spraying and wiping an antibacterial cleaner over a kitchen counter, active chemicals linger behind and continue to kill bacteria, but not necessarily all of them.
When a bacterial population is placed under a stressor—such as an antibacterial chemical—a small subpopulation armed with special defense mechanisms can develop. These lineages survive and reproduce as their weaker relatives perish. “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is the governing maxim here, as antibacterial chemicals select for bacteria that endure their presence.”
I could go on and on and on and on about this; but I won’t. I will tell you this: core ice samples of the arctic circle several thousand feet below have discovered super-old (that’s a scientific term) bacterial samples that you don’t even want to think about. When those glacier start to melt, I mean reeeeeeally melt, the stuff that’s gonna hit the water… and it will be different, is all I can say. I can’t judge, and there’s no way to suggest that they would be viable when they reintroduce themselves to the water systems, but… Maybe we’ll all (times 15 generations) be dead by then, but the point is: if we’re not… I’m not sure I wanna be around then. Scientists aren’t suggesting another plague or “The Andromeda Strain” and there’s nothing we can do about any of that so let’s do something we can do something about: let’s get on the side of the good germs, the probiotics and treat our antibiotics with care and for the love of all that is good, decent and correct in this world: just STOP using the antibacterial soaps and household cleaners. JUST STOP. You’re MAKING it WORSE. Don’t put them in the toilet, just stop using them.
If you still don’t believe me: Google it, prove me wrong. Here’s one more article coming up next week (that’s right… I have connections…): http://www.scientificamerican.com/report.cfm?id=antibiotic-resistance-bacteria-in-depth
I welcome a nice healthy and civil debate. Good luck finding data that suggests I’m incorrect. I’ll buy you a case of Purell if I’m wrong.
Oh, and you’re wasting your money too: http://www.topclassactions.com/lawsuit-settlements/lawsuit-news/1552-softsoap-antibacterial-class-action-lawsuit
Do you have old meds and you don’t know what to do with them? This just in: put them in used coffee grounds! Don’t drink coffee? Shit… then, read this: http://www.ismp.org/consumers/throwAwayMedsSafely.asp
one two three four more things: 1) chill out on the need for antibiotics. Chances are you don’t need them and neither does your kid. 2) Chill out on the tylenol and fever reducers: I am also not too quick to treat a fever unless my child is in pain or discomfort. If we bring down a fever too fast, the body can’t burn up the virus. People are loopy. Let the body do his or her AMAZING work. We’ve survived this long… we can do this ourselves. 3) Oh, and eat more yogurt or Kefir. And greens! 🙂 and 4) Do you know someone with a uterus? Is she moody sometimes and doesn’t know why? Maybe reading this will help: Living and Thriving with PMDD
If you liked this post, you might like: