Slipcover the World
If given the choice, most people would not wash their hands with a pesticide even if it assured them a squeaky clean, bacteria-free experience. Yet every day in kitchens and bathrooms across America, people are unwittingly doing that very thing. Triclosan bears a chemical name too long to pronounce and while not as pervasive as say, air, it does seem to be everywhere. Since making its debut in 1972 as a surgical scrub in hospitals, it has gone viral, pardon the pun, showing up in an ever-expanding list of products such as hand soaps, shampoos, dishwashing detergents, toothpastes, underarm deodorants, cosmetics, toys, fabrics, utensils, bedding, trash bags and flooring, among other things. The ruse is if you’re healthy, Triclosan doesn’t boost your chances of staying that way; studies show no reduced risk of viral infection in an otherwise healthy household. Yet because of overuse, scientists worry that Triclosan’s effectiveness as an antiseptic agent in hospitals may be significantly reduced. Wash up here…
Pretty scary stuff. I don’t have a whole lot of confidence in either the EPA or the FDA to regulate this kind of thing.
Problematically, Ken, there are always so many competing interests and at the end of the day, as sad as it is to say, money talks. I just read the other day that, years ago, the sugar industry paid off scientists to downplay the health risks of sugar. Feels like we should be beyond that kind of thing by now, but sadly, we’re not.