Why You Should Never Use Hand Sanitizers
It’s become quite the norm to use hand sanitizers today. You even see them displayed in a lot of public places. But here’s the problem…
When you constantly use hand sanitizers, you never challenge your immune system. It doesn’t have the chance to develop fully. Unless you’re a surgeon, believing you have to sterilize yourself is a mistake. You’re isolating yourself from the natural world we were born to thrive in. Our natural world is not sterile. We are meant to be exposed to bacteria.
Not all bacteria are bad. In fact, small bacteria help to keep resistant bacteria under control. Hand sanitizers kill off all the small bacteria. They allow resistant bacteria to grow unchecked.
But it’s not just bacteria becoming resistant you have to worry about. The antibacterial ingredient in the hand sanitizer can be dangerous.
Most of those hand sanitizers that have become so popular have something in them called triclosan. This chemical is also found in mouthwash, toothpaste and even toys. Every time you use a hand sanitizer or any product that contains triclosan, some of it is absorbed into your skin and interferes with your hormones.
Triclosan has been shown to lower your production of thyroid hormone. Low thyroid can give you symptoms like fatigue, muscle aches, and weight gain.1 When triclosan was tested on animals, it decreased their testosterone by one third.2 When it was tested on pregnant animals, it prevented the mothers’ estrogen from reaching their unborn babies.3 It also caused changes in breast tissue and increased cancer cells, even when tested for less than a month.4
The FDA did warn people about this stuff way back in 1978 when it wrote that the chemical was “not generally recognized as safe and effective.” But they never made any official decision on triclosan, so manufacturers can still use it.
Finally, after 40 years, many studies and even a few lawsuits, the FDA announced it is going to make a decision sometime this year about whether or not to ban triclosan. Some companies have caught on to the dangers of this stuff and didn’t wait for the FDA. The giant hospital corporation Kasier Permanente removed all products with it a couple of years ago. And Johnson & Johnson said they’ll take it out of everything they make a couple years from now.
So what can you do, right now? In this case, the advice is easy:
1. Don’t ever use any hand sanitizers … because you don’t need them.
2. To keep clean and prevent infections or viruses, use “good, old-fashioned soap” and warm water instead. The kind of soap we used for 100 years before all this hysteria started over bacteria. Ivory and Lava soap have been around since the 1800s. These are just two examples of good soaps to use
3. Always check the label before you buy. If your soap, cream, or any other solution says “antibacterial” on it, don’t buy it.
4. A great alternative triclosan-laced toothpaste that has triclosan in it is to brush your teeth with sea salt. It’s completely safe. It’s inexpensive. And it’s available in every grocery store.
Sea salt is naturally occurring and it isn’t processed and has minerals in it like potassium and magnesium. You can also buy sea salt that’s iodized. We’re not getting iodine from our diet any more, and this is an easy way to increase your daily level. There are many kinds of sea salt: Mediterranean, Himalayan, Pacific, and many more. They all have slightly different tastes. You can choose whichever you like best.
1. Calafat, AM. et al. “Urinary Concentrations of Triclosan in the U.S. Population: 2003–2004.” Environ Health Perspect. 2008 March; 116(3): 303–307.
2. Kumar V, Chakraborty A, Kural MJ, Roya P. “Alteration of testicular steroidogenesis and histopathology of reproductive system in male rats treated with triclosan.” Reproductive Toxicology. 2009. 27:177–185.
3. James MO., et al. “Triclosan is a potent inhibitor of estradiol and estrone sulfonation in sheep placenta.” Environ Int. 2009, Mar. doi:10.1016/j.envint.2009.02.004
4. Gee RH, Charles A, Taylor N, Darbre PD. “Oestrogenic and androgenic activity of triclosan in breast cancer cells.” J Appl Toxicol 2008; 28:78–91