Itty Bitty Greenie

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Too much of a good thing: Why antibacterial products are riskier than germs

No one would argue against hand washing as one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of germs, but with the proliferation of antibacterial soaps, hand sanitizers and other products, we are cleaner than ever before – and that might not be a good thing.

Research has shown that use of antibacterial soaps can do more harm than good, by killing off beneficial bacteria as well as harmful bacteria on our skin, while also creating a resistance to superbugs and antibiotics.

Some antibacterial-soaps contain a chemical called triclosan, an antibacterial agent potentially harmful to humans and the environment. The chemical can be found in many consumer products, from cosmetics such as soap and deodorant to dish soap, facial tissues, bed linens and toys.

In terms of its environmental impact, triclosan can poison aquatic life, persist in the surrounding environment, and bioaccumulate in animals. It has also been found in human blood, urine and breast milk.

Triclosan is currently under review by the American Food and Drug Association and Health Canada, but there is no regulation against the chemical in products sold in Australia.

Doctors and scientists world wide agree that the best course of action is to stop using antibacterial products (soap & water is best) and read labels on all products before buying, to avoid harmful chemicals such as triclosan.

With this in mind, I went in search of an alternative hand wash that would be safe and eco friendly for my family, and found Ollie’s Happy Hands Sudz by Taslie Skin Care. Made in Canada, this brand is chemical free, and contains certified organic ingredients that are PH balanced and suitable for sensitive skin. The packaging is printed with soy inks and is recyclable.

Best of all, my little guy loves the colourful octopus pump so much, he never forgets to wash his hands after going to the toilet!

For more information, read the Centre for a Liveable Future’s article on the health and environmental risks of antibacterial products. Also, here’s a handy Dirty Dozen list of cosmetic chemicals to avoid.

View the Taslie Skin Care range,  available exclusively in Australia at Itty Bitty Greenie

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