The Health Risks of Hand Sanitizers

Image courtesy of Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

You have heard us say many times that the use of commercial anti-bacterial products that contain triclosan are dangerous to your health.  Well, scientists have discovered yet another reason to rethink these products, especially around your kids.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have discovered a link between the levels of triclosan in the urine and the presence of antibodies in the blood that are found in people with  allergies.

What this means, in a nutshell, is that kids with high levels of triclosan in their bodies are also the kids who have the most allergies. The children with high levels had over twice the risk of food allergies and almost twice the risk of environmental allergies as those with low levels .

Triclosan can be found in many soaps, mouthwashes and toothpastes, but is most commonly found in hand sanitizer.  It has been shown to affect hormone production and also contributes to antibiotic resistant bacteria.  Over time, it does accumulate in the body and this most recent study shows that the accumulation can have dangerous effects on children.

This information should cause you to think twice about picking up that hand sanitizer over and over throughout the day.  Glynne’s Soaps does offer an all natural alternative to hand sanitizer containing triclosan.  Our All Natural Lavender or Lemon Hand Sanitizer is now available on our website and will soon be available at the Carolina Beach Farmer’s Market, The Poplar Grove Farmers Market, The Historic Downtown Wilmington Marketplace and any of the other events Glynne’s Soaps attends.  Get yours today!

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5 Reasons to Pass on Anti-Bacterial Soap

The student government at the University of Texas recently placed a resolution calling for a ban on the use of anti-bacterial soaps on campus.  They realized something that many people don’t get.  Not only is anti-bacterial soap ineffective, it can be dangerous.  But don’t take my word for it (or the student government at Texas, for that matter).  Look at these facts:

1.  The FDA has discovered that anti-bacterial soaps provide no benefit over washing with regular soap and water.

2.  The FDA is also currently researching the effect that triclosan (the main ingredient in anti-bacterial soaps, hand sanitizers, deodorants and other products) has on our bodies.  Triclosan is an endocrine disruptor and can remain in body tissue for an extremely long time.  This can allow it to build up in your body after prolonged use and cause extensive damage.

3.  Anti-bacterial soaps also lead to the growth of resistant bacteria that become harder and harder to kill.

4.  Wastewater treatment plants can not remove triclosan from the water.  This dangerous chemical moves into rivers and streams where is kills algae and destroys ecosystems.

5.  Scientists at the University of Minnesota have found that when exposed to sunlight, triclosan degrades to form dioxins – one of the most toxic chemicals known to science.

If you are concerned about dangerous chemicals in the products you use, stay away from anti-bacterial products.  The all  natural alternatives are much better.


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Skin Care Ingredients to Avoid

I ran across this article titled “Nine Ingredients to Avoid in Personal Care Products” a few weeks ago and thought it was worth passing along.   There are some dangerous ingredients in places you might not think to look.

So, here they are – look for them in the ingredients of your skin care products.  And remember, none of Glynne’s Soaps products will ever contain any of these toxins, or anything else that isn’t all natural and safe.

1. PARABENS: They’re in adult and baby shampoo and many other products, and they are estrogen mimickers that can lead to cancer.

2. FRAGRANCE: The FDA requires that food, drug, and body care companies list their ingredients on their products—but chemicals used to scent products can be clumped under the vague term “fragrance.” Found in everything from shampoo to deodorant, a single product’s secret fragrance mixture can contain potentially hundreds of toxic volatile organic compounds.

3NANOPARTICLES: Found in lotions, moisturizers, make-up, and particularly sunscreen, these untested ingredients are so small, many scientists are very concerned about their potential health effects, as they can penetrate cell walls and are highly reactive. Products with nanoparticles aren’t often labeled as such, so check your conventional body care products at

4. FORMALDEHYDE: A common hardener in nail polish and an ingredient in bath products, this chemical is a known carcinogen. Nail polish also often contains the developmental toxicant TOLUENE.

5. PHTHALATES: These hormone disruptors have been linked to male genital abnormalities, liver and kidney lesions, and higher rates of childhood asthma and allergies. They’re often hidden in the fragrances of an array of products for men, women, and children, and listed as DIBUTYL PHTHALATE in nail polish.

6. PETROLEUM BY-PRODUCTS: Listed as mineral oil, petrolatum, liquid paraffin, toluene, or xylene, these chemicals are found in a dizzying number of products, including many shampoos and soaps. Of most concern is the fact that they are often contaminated by cancer-causing impurities like 1,4 DIOXANE, which is a probable carcinogen. Industry has done very little to prevent such contamination.

7. TRICLOSAN: A primary ingredient in anti-bacterial soaps and products, triclosan has been linked to hormone disruption and the emergence of bacteriaresistant “superbugs.”

8. LEAD: It’s a potent neurotoxicant, and it’s been found in several popular brands of lipstick and men’s hair coloring kits.

9. MERCURY: A neurotoxicant that can severely damage human health, mercury— often listed as “thimerosol”—is still used in some cosmetics like mascara.

It is important to know what you are putting on your body and on your children (both the two-legged and four-legged varieties).

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Bacteria – Friend or Foe?

Friendly Bacteria

These days, it seems like the term “anti-bacterial” is on the labels of many of our cleaning products and soaps. Is this really necessary? What are the effects on the wider environment? We seem to be really fixated on bacteria. Without a doubt, there are bad bacteria out there, but there are also many kinds of good bacteria that we couldn’t live without. There are approximately 182 strains of bacteria that live on your skin, and most of them are helpful. Think of them as an added layer of defense against germs. Repeated washing, especially with anti-bacterial soap strips your body of this defense mechanism. For example, there is at least one type of bacteria whose job is to help moisturize the skin. Anti-bacterial soap will kill these bacteria, causing your skin to dry out.

The next time you go to use your anti-bacterial soap, read the label. Some anti-bacterial soaps contain MIT (methylisothiazolinone), which some studies have found to be allergenic and linked to nerve cell death. Another anti-bacterial chemical commonly used is triclosan. This chemical is registered with the Environmental Protection Agency as being a pesticide and is believed to destroy fragile aquatic ecosystems. So, not only is it bad for your skin, as it runs out of your shower and into the water supply it is very dangerous to the environment, creating poisonous chlorine gas as it mixes with any water supply.

While anti-bacterial chemicals do play a role in professional health settings, they are not necessary in your home. Not only do they kill the good bacteria, but with overuse, harmful bacteria can become resistant to cleaners and necessary antibiotics.

The best thing you can do for your skin and the environment is to use a good all natural soap, like those found at Glynne’s Soaps . Not only will you be clean, but your skin will be softer and the environmental impact is very low.  If you are somewhere and don’t have access to soap and water, but need to clean up, try our new all natural hand sanitizers.  Made with only the safest all natural ingredients including therapeutic grade essential oils that are a safe way to get rid of the bad bacteria without dangers, our all natural hand sanitizers come in two refreshing scents; lemon and lavender.

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