More and more people are living in a virtual bubble. Afraid to leave the house unprotected, people are bathing themselves in hand sanitizer, donning protective masks, and performing antibacterial scrub rituals that would put the most conscientious pre-op surgeon to shame.
But to what effect?
I don’t usually see eye to eye with the FDA, but even our federal overlords are questioning the efficacy of so much antibacterial everything, and demanding a change in labeling or in the removal of potentially harmful ingredients. (Albeit as the result of a lawsuit against the FDA by the Natural Resources Defense Council.)
FDA Examining Antibacterial Soaps, Body Washes (CNN)
At issue is not only the effectiveness of the antibacterial products at killing germs any more efficiently than simple soap and water, but also the health ramifications of long-term exposure to ingredients such as triclosan and triclocarban.
So what to do?
Let me make that part easy on you.
Don’t worry about antibacterial anything. You are already antibacterial.
Remember that scrape on your knee that healed up? That was your immune system at work.
Sure you’ve gotten a cold before. You’ve lived to tell about it, haven’t you? Thank your immune system for that.
You are exposed to thousands of little bugs and germs every single day of your life (GASP!). So why aren’t you sick all day, every day? Oh, I don’t know…maybe because of a little thing called your immune system.
I’m actually sick as I write this. Sick of people trying to dis-empower us! If I listened to all the bogus advice perpetuated by Big Pharma, the mainstream media, slick marketers, etc., I’d be afraid to leave the house in the morning.
Remember, you were created fully equipped and ready to go! Have faith in the power of your own body. After all, your great-great-great-great grandparents never had any of this antibacterial mumbo jumbo, yet there you sit.
But you still feel like you need an antibacterial boost? Okay, try this:
Go out and buy the biggest pump bottle of antibacterial soap you can find. Unscrew the top, dump it down the toilet, then flush. Take the bottle outside on a rainy day and fill it with mud. Use liberally.
You’ve heard of the 10 second rule. My daughter lived by the 10 minute rule. Not that I necessarily encouraged her to eat her meals off the floor, but I never considered her dropsies with her snacks anything more than another chance to boost her immune system.
So put down the Purell and slowly back away.
Get out and play in the dirt. Make a mud pie. Breathe some fresh air.
Heck, before you know it, you might even decide to live dangerously and touch a shopping cart handle or shake someone’s hand!