Antibacterial Soap In Schools?
Schools across the country will be opening their doors in the next few days. With shrinking budgets, and outsize demands for basic supplies, parents are being asked to pick up the bill…and retailers are rushing to cash in by expanding their back-to-school products.
Last year, I wrote a post called, Back To School Surprise: BYO Toilet Paper. I was appalled at the eco-unfriendly requests schools were making on parents:
“Some schools are asking their students to bring antibacterial wipes, zip lock bags, toilet paper, garbage bags, cotton balls, detergent, paper plates and paper towels and tissues.”
While most of these items stomp all over our carbon footprint and add to the destruction of our planet, it is the first item, antibacterial soap that has got me freaked.
In a recent New York Times article, writer Andrew Martin carves a deep dent into the safety issue of the chemical, Triclosan. This chemical is in a range of best-selling consumer products such as, Colgate Total toothpaste and Dial Complete soup.
“The Food and Drug Administration is reviewing the safety of the chemical, which was created more than 40 years ago as a surgical scrub for hospitals. It is so prevalent that a survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found the chemical present in the urine of 75 percent of Americans over the age of 5.”
Half of all liquid hand soaps sold in the U.S. are antibacterial or antimicrobial. The Times reported the process of creating regulations for antiseptic products, including the use of triclosan, began more than 30 years ago, but has been repeatedly delayed. The National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) sued the FDA last year, asking them to impose a strict deadline to finalize the rule on the regulation of antibacterial soaps.
Antibacterial Soap Is Nasty
Studies show triclosan alters hormone regulation in laboratory animals, and can cause antibiotic resistance, along with an increase in allergies. The F.D.A. has already stated that soap with triclosan is not any more effective than ordinary soap.
Now folks, this chemical added to soap is nasty, nasty stuff. Scientists have been raising concerns about triclosan for years. Yet, the fifth-best-selling liquid hand soap in the country, Dial Complete soap is loaded with it. Turning their nose on science, Dial’s senior VP for research and development said:
“…there was no real evidence showing that triclosan was dangerous for humans. He also said that several recent studies had proved the effectiveness of triclosan in killing germs, and that those studies had been submitted to the federal regulators.”
BYO Antibacterial Soap To School?
To ask our children to bring antibacterial soap to school goes against science. Even more unconscionable, it works to undermine the health of our children. Would you send your child to school with antibacterial soap? What are your thoughts?