With the cold and flu season in full swing, everyone is taking extra precautions to keep themselves and their little ones healthy. Hand washing and using hand sanitizers are just two very basic ways to combat illness. I am one of those slightly germaphobic moms who is constantly reminding my kids to wash their hands, wiping down shopping carts and/or using cart covers for my toddler, and I always…always keep a bottle of hand sanitizer either in my purse or car. I’m sure you remember what Oprah and Dr. Oz said was found on most gas pump handles, right? Yes…THAT and worse. Yuck…but have you ever stopped to think about what exactly is in that hand sanitizer that you use?
It’s not just alcohol…..
Triclosan is a common hand sanitizer ingredient that is found in many other products as well, and helps inhibit the growth of bacteria. The big problem with Tricosan is that it is helping to create “super bacteria”, the bacteria that is resistant to medicines. There are no health benefits to using Triclosan and the FDA is finally starting to take another look and hopefully get it removed from soaps and sanitizers.
Yes I will be the first to admit that I love long lasting scents in my home, my clothes, and on my hands too! However, those wonderful fragrances that we all love contain many toxic chemicals. Ever wonder how and why they last so long? Manufacturers of these fragrances are not required to give you a list of their ingredients so yeah…they could be and probably are filled with hundreds of chemicals. According to the Environmental Working Group, “fragrance mixes have been associated with allergies, dermatitis, respiratory distress and potential effects on the reproductive system.” Now take this into consideration when you are covering your hands and most importantly, your kids’ hands with this stuff and think twice! Just because it smells good, doesn’t mean it’s good for you!
Again, seems like this stuff is found in so many household products…even fabric softener! Not only is it used to preserve the dead (ick!) but also causes respiratory tract and endocrine problems. Even in small amounts, why would you want this stuff on your skin?
Can you pronounce this one correctly because I don’t think I can. Benzalkonium Chloride is a hand sanitizer ingredient that kills bacteria on the skin by causing disruption of lipid bi-layers in cell membranes. However, our very own cells contain lipid bi-layers, and need them to regulate what goes in the cells like water and food. Additionally, in high amounts Benzalkonium Chloride is toxic to mammals and even very small amounts are toxic to birds and fish.
Parabens are found in most personal care items like shampoo and soaps, and help inhibit growth of bacteria. It cause cancer, skin irritation, endocrine disruption, reproductive toxicity, immunotoxicity, and neurotoxicity. Most hand sanitizers contain parabens and you should look out for ethylparaben, butylparaben, methylparaben and propylparaben when purchasing hand sanitizer.
So…what do you do when you want to stay healthy, and keep those nasty germs away but want a safe sanitizing option too? There are completely safe, non toxic options out there thank goodness! The best hand sanitizer that I have found is the Babyganics Alcohol-Free Foaming Hand Sanitizer, it’s even safe for babies and all household surfaces! It’s a product you can feel good about using. It’s worth the time to check into healthier options for yourself, your family and the environment.