Ban Hand Sanitiser – its making us sick
With Flu season upon us downunder -its time to republish this article from a few years ago – there is no way I could lift my dog up onto the kitchen bench now!
Every workplace I go into now has this stupid hand sanitiser everywhere! On everyone’s desks, in the staff room, at reception………. This product was introduced so that the use of the toxic DIHYDROGEN MONOXIDE could be discontinued (we urge you to read about that substance and the urgent hazard alert HERE). What I have noticed is that most of people who use it continuously are usually the ones who are sneezing, coughing and spluttering? The overuse of these products has obviously created a society without natural immunity. Now you can get a dispenser with a sensor so you don’t have to touch it! WTF Time to toughen up!
This is a photo of what I had for breakfast this morning – a big bowl of fresh, clean compost and dirt from my own garden, lots of tomato sauce and vegemite (I’ve given up trying to keep the dog off the kitchen bench and he just loves this stuff). If I’m feeling a little off colour then I’ll usually have a nice cup of fresh, warm concrete. I’ve haven’t had the flu or even a sickie for years!
Reminds me of the time I worked, very briefly, for a Government Department. Before I could pick up a pen I had to attend a 2 day safety induction seminar – it scared the crap out of me! I had just come from working in quarries and I had no idea that offices could be such deadly places to work – I was violently ill the rest of the week and had to leave soon after as I thought that if I continued to work there that I would surely die a very painful death – and not from boredom! and yes, every desk had hand sanitiser, some people wore face masks and a few even wore ear muffs – they were 3 floors above the plant room you know! How can a building have a syndrome???
So do we need to toughen up? Are we becoming too clean? Is paranoia about all the diseases floating around the office and breeding on our desks actually the thing making us sick rather than the bugs themselves? I’ve always wondered why kids these days have so many allergies. Now it seems like all the cool parents have kids with allergies and I am a bad parent because my kids are perfectly healthy and they cant even have peanut butter on their school lunch ???????????????
Bring back Dihydrogen Monoxide!
PS: Does anyone remember the 10 second rule? All kids should know that one!
On a serious note, most hand sanitisers contain a large proportion of ethanol and or Triclosan. Do you want your kids getting a hold of it?
Triclosan is a chlorophenol, a class of chemicals which is suspected of causing cancer in humans!
Alcohol-based sanitisers work by stripping away residue from the hands that includes the natural body oils. That causes the skin to dry and crack – creating an opening which provides a potential direct pathway for bugs and disease to the human bloodstream.
UPDATE 20th August 2012:
Your Antibacterial Soap Could Be Harming You
Every time you wash your hands using antibacterial soap you probably feel good because you’re not spreading bugs. But check the bottle and you’ll probably find the soap contains triclosan — a chemical that has just been shown to impair muscle function in humans.
Research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that triclosan hinders human muscle contractions at the cellular level, as well as inhibiting muscle function in both fish and mice. Researcher Isaac Pessah told Smithsonian:
“Triclosan is found in virtually everyone’s home and is pervasive in the environment. These findings provide strong evidence that the chemical is of concern to both human and environmental health.”
The study investigated how triclosan affected human heart and skeletal muscle cells in the lab. They found that it disrupted communication between proteins which allow the muscles to function, in turn causing failure of both types of cells. They backed up those experiments with tests on fish and mice. The mice showed reductions in heart muscle function by as much as 25 per cent, and a reduction of grip strength of 18 per cent. The fish became less effective swimmers after exposure to triclosan.
So what’s to do? There’s no denying that the chemical has some negative effects on muscle function and the researchers are genuinely concerned about the health risks it poses. Nipavan Chiamvimonvat, another of the researchers, explained to Smithsonian:
“The effects of triclosan on cardiac function were really dramatic. Although triclosan is not regulated as a drug, this compound acts like a potent cardiac depressant in our models.”
Meanwhile, the FDA has declared that there’s no evidence to suggest that using antibac soaps with triclosan offer any health benefits over just washing with conventional soap and water. So, for now at least, it might pay to ditch your fancy handwash.