19 Dangerous Chemicals
All in all there were 19 chemicals that the FDA said must be removed from soap products within one year. About 40 percent of all soaps on the market contain triclosan (mainly used in liquid soaps) and triclocarban (mainly used in bar/solid soaps) two of the primary chemicals the FDA has banned for human use. Public health experts agree that this ruling is a long time coming; for years they have expressed concern that antibacterial soaps promote drug-resistant infections and potentially cause problems in the hormonal development of children. These compounds build up in the bloodstream; they are present in breast milk and in newborn babies, as well as in dust and soil samples taken from in and around households that frequently use them.
These chemicals are endocrine disruptors, meaning they can affect critical hormone functions along with brain activity, the immune system, and reproductive systems. These chemicals are so disruptive to children’s hormones that they can lead to early puberty, infertility, obesity, and even cancer. Studies also show that triclosan and triclocarban impair learning and brain development in young children, and prolonged exposure in vitro can cause major issues in fetal development. Concerns were first expressed about the use of these chemicals in 1976, but it’s taken this long for the FDA to make a move. This has consumers and health experts asking, why the delay?
The antibacterial market makes a staggering billion dollars a year. The United States is particularly preoccupied with cleanliness, and millions of Americans choose antibacterial soaps over “regular” soap because they believe they will keep their families safer and healthier. But after 40 years of lawsuits and extensive scientific studies, the FDA has finally made a sensible decision about the matter.
What to Use Instead
Health experts agree that using regular soap and water is safer for your family. Castille soap can be used as a base and adding essential oils like tea tree and coconut oil can give the soap anti-bacterial or anti-microbial properties without risking your safety.