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-Oscar Wilde
Brilliant at Breakfast title banner "The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
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"I came here to chew bubblegum and kick ass. And I'm all out of bubblegum." -- "Rowdy" Roddy Piper (1954-2015), They Live
Monday, April 26, 2010

A Song That Was A Hit Before
Posted by Tata | 9:13 PM
Last week, my tiny town had an Earth Day EXTRAVAGANZA! with plants, vendors selling green products, blood pressure, vision and hearing screenings by the Department of Health, a raffle, nutrition study support groups, discounts on composters and other things I've forgotten in all the glitz and glamour. My stepdad Tom and I sat at a table, asking festive EXTRAVAGANZA! attendees to take one or all of four pledges for the coming year; paraphrased:

1. Quit using crappy products containing triclosan;
2. Compost already - I mean, come on;
3. Eat more veggies and grains, which are delicious;
4. Surrender drinking bottled water and no one gets hurt.

Though I'm on the committee that formulated these pledges I didn't write these, which made for interesting interactions when festive attendees asked the logical question: what's triclosan? I looked at them. They looked at me. I get extremely stupid when the answer to a question is Let me look that up for you and I'm sitting more than five feet from a computer. I said, "We'd like you to read the ingredients on the products you use and when you run across the naughty T-word, don't - um - buy that." As you might imagine, that was not especially persuasive since it explained nothing. Fortunately, Tom had one of those indispensable pocket doohickeys with a net connection. He looked up triclosan and everyone learned something.

* Dial® Liquid Soap
* Softsoap® Antibacterial Liquid Hand Soap
* Tea Tree Therapy™ Liquid Soap
* Provon® Soap
* Clearasil® Daily Face Wash
* Dermatologica® Skin Purifying Wipes
* Clean & Clear Foaming Facial Cleanser
* DermaKleen™ Antibacterial Lotion Soap
* Naturade Aloe Vera 80® Antibacterial Soap
* CVS Antibacterial Soap
* pHisoderm Antibacterial Skin Cleanser

Dental Care:

* Colgate Total®; Breeze™ Triclosan Mouthwash
* Reach® Antibacterial Toothbrush
* Janina Diamond Whitening Toothpaste


* Supre® Café Bronzer™
* TotalSkinCare Makeup Kit
* Garden Botanika® Powder Foundation
* Mavala Lip Base
* Jason Natural Cosmetics
* Blemish Cover Stick
* Movate® Skin Litening Cream HQ
* Paul Mitchell Detangler Comb
* Revlon ColorStay LipSHINE Lipcolor Plus Gloss
* Dazzle


* Old Spice High Endurance Stick Deodorant
* Right Guard Sport Deodorant
* Queen Helene® Tea Trea Oil Deodorant and Aloe Deodorant
* Nature De France Le Stick Natural Stick Deodorant
* DeCleor Deodorant Stick
* Epoch® Deodorant with Citrisomes
* X Air Maximum Strength Deodorant

The list goes on and on and was full of surprises, but that didn't explain why triclosan rated its own pledge. The FDA hedges its bets.
What consumers should know:
Triclosan is not known to be hazardous to humans.
FDA does not have sufficient safety evidence to recommend changing consumer use of products that contain triclosan at this time.
In light of questions raised by recent animal studies of triclosan, FDA is reviewing all of the available evidence on this ingredient’s safety in consumer products. FDA will communicate the findings of its review to the public in spring 2011.
At this time, FDA does not have evidence that triclosan added to antibacterial soaps and body washes provides extra health benefits over soap and water. Consumers concerned about using hand and body soaps with triclosan should wash with regular soap and water.
Consumers can check product labels to find out whether products contain triclosan.

Yeah yeah yeah, but I didn't know what I was supposed to be a-skeert of yet so I wasn't properly terrifying the tourists.
Triclosan is chemically somewhat similar to the dioxin class of compounds. Triclosan production leads to small amounts of residual polychlorinated dioxins, and polychlorinated furans which are contained in small amounts, in the products that are using it.

A 2006 triclosan study concluded that low doses of triclosan act as an endocrine disruptor in the North American bullfrog. The hypothesis proposed is that triclosan blocks the metabolism of thyroid hormone, because it chemically mimics thyroid hormone, and binds to the hormone receptor sites, blocking them, so that normal hormones cannot be utilized.

Eventually, Tom figured out that people are worried about a few things like fish being unable to reproduce properly which is important for the future of sushi, and for children to develop primary and secondary sexual characteristics, which is important for restroom signs. I kid, but dioxin is no joke. Since we didn't know what information the committee was working from, we asked people to try natural cleaning and beauty products and not to worry.

"It's that easy?" one festive attendee asked.

"Sure," I said. "Also: your grandmother was right about baking soda."
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