Lavender-Scented Pesticide Lotion
You probably used it this morning, but you just didn’t realize it. As you were going through your morning routine, you may have come across it two or three times. I don’t want to pry, but I’m guessing you used a lovely, scented pesticide and endocrine disruptor when you lathered up, gelled up, shaved, bathed, deodorized, moisturized, immunized and beautified yourself. The pesticide and endocrine disruptor to which I’m referring is called triclosan, and it’s used as an anti-bacterial agent or to preserve cosmetics and household products. It’s also a toxic chemical that threatens public and environmental health, and it’s probably found in many of your lotions, creams, pastes, gels and daily goops. Feel clean?
Triclosan is an unnecessary chemical ingredient — a pesticide that poses many public health risks but is contained in countless personal products to protect against evil bacteria. That’s silly when you consider that it has not been proven to be more effective than old-fashioned soap and water. Triclosan gets into our water systems and mixes in with streams and rivers. Many are concerned that it contributes toward anti-biotic resistant bacteria and believe that antimicrobial chemicals like triclosan shouldn’t be used in household products, including the American Medical Association.
Our friends at Storyofstuff.org released The Story of Cosmetics, which includes triclosan as one of the many toxic chemicals used in cosmetic and personal care products. This new offering from Annie Leonard is informative, as well as entertaining, so please pass it along to anyone you know who uses anything from to lipstick to hair gel.
It’s funny how we freely use chemicals — most of which we know little about — to improve the way we look and feel when many of these substances are dangerous to the human body and to the environment. In our efforts to be clean, we have somehow enabled a dirty business to enter our lives. But we really need to take another look at our methods and the system that allows this to happen. AOL News’ Andrew Schneider describes the strange FDA policies behind the lack of regulation in the cosmetics industry to this point, and how we might be moving forward in the near future. Lloyd Alter of Treehugger.com provides some insight as to how things have been handled on the EPA side.
We need Congress to take strong action to ban the non-medical uses of triclosan. Sign the petition to ban triclosan in your personal care products and make a personal commitment to avoid products that contain triclosan.