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Antibacterial soap sounds like it’s very effective for cleaning out hands and bodies, but the truth is the term “antibacterial” is more of a marketing ploy than anything else when it comes to effective cleaning of our body’s and homes.

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Even the FDA(Food and Drug Administration) has admitted that “there is currently no evidence that [antibacterial soaps] are any more effective at preventing illness than washing with plain soap and water.”[1]

Over time concerns about antibacterial soaps, mainly about an antibacterial ingredient called Triclosan, have been raised stating that we don’t know the dangers or long term effects and therefore should be weary of using it. Unfortunately like many other concerns, it went ignored, by North American countries mainly, and now studies are showing the clear dangers.

The Many Health Hazards

Research has shown that triclosan can disrupt hormone function and cause issues with allergies, thyroid function, endocrine disruption, weight gain and inflammatory responses.[5]

A recent study published in the journal Chemical Research in Toxicology found that Triclosan encourages cancer-cell growth. Various studies over the past few years have clearly outlined the health dangers associated with this chemical.[2]

Triclosan can also pass through the skin and interfere with hormone function (endocrine disruption). A study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives from 2008 shows how scientists detected triclosan in the urine of nearly 75 percent of those tested (2,517 people age six or older).[3] Interestingly, the highest levels were found in people in the third decade of life and who had high income levels. Perhaps the cumulative effects of triclosan will show very harmful effects later on for that age group.

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In a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences it was found that mice who were exposed to triclosan regularly for six months showed abnormal cell proliferation, liver fibrosis, and inflammatory responses. Each of these conditions resemble the environment within which human liver cancer forms. Researchers stated that they would expect that the same triclosan-induced formation of liver tumors “would occur in humans as it occurs in mice.”

Luckily these concerns are not going unnoticed as they can sometimes do, The Canadian Medical Association has even called for a ban on products that contain Triclosan. [4]

While it may not prove to be as harmful yet, remember that governments and corporations used to tell us that asbestos, PCB’s and DDT were all deemed safe and effective, yet all of these chemicals have since been banned. One might wonder the same about GMOs considering there is already a large body of evidence showing their dangers, yet government and corporations promise their safety.

How To Properly Wash Your Hands & Clean Your Home

If we shouldn’t use antibacterial soaps and cleaning agent what should we use and how do we properly keep clean?

When it comes to washing your hands, Dr. Mercola recommends the following: Keep in mind that your skin is your primary barrier against germs, so obsessive-compulsive washing, especially in dry environments that typically exist for most in the winter months when the heat is on, can actually increase your risk of getting sick by drying out your skin.

  • Use warm, running water and a mild soap (avoid antibacterial soap)
  • Work up a good lather, all the way up to your wrists, scrubbing for at least 15 or 20 seconds (most people only wash for about 6 seconds)
  • Make sure you cover all surfaces, including the backs of your hands, wrists, between your fingers, and around and below your fingernails
  • Rinse thoroughly under running water
  • In public places, use a paper towel to open the door as a protection from germs that the handles may harbor

In your home, there are a number of natural products you can use that are entirely safe and very effective. You don’t need to use any harsh cleaners and you especially shouldn’t be using bleach.

Here is a recipe for a natural orange cleaner as well.

STEP 1: Save enough orange peels to fill up a 1-liter mason jar. (If this is going to take you more than a day or 2 I would suggest storing them in either the fridge or freezer)

STEP 2: After you have done that, pour in 500 ml (2 Cups) white vinegar.

STEP 3: Seal the jar, and let it sit on your countertop or in a cupboard for 2 weeks.

STEP 4: After 2 weeks strain out the orange peels and keep the liquid in the jar.

STEP 5: Mix Water with orange vinegar solution (4 parts water 1 part orange vinegar solution in a spray bottle)

You can also use vinegar or hydrogen peroxide mixed with water as a cleaning solution.

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