Your second Call to Action is an idea that’s been percolating in my head for a few years now, and I’m finally going to do it (and ask you to join me!). Last week I discussed the problem of antibacterial cleaners in schools and reminded you of my earlier posts on handwashing, antibacterial soaps, triclosan, and hand sanitizer. If you haven’t read them, take a moment.
Every time I walk into a Bath and Body Works, beyond being overwhelmed by the plethora of scents, I am overwhelmed by the antibacterial-ness of the store.
Do you know they don’t offer a single handsoap that ISN’T antibacterial? Until they recently began carrying the Cleanwell line, there wasn’t a soap or sanitizer without triclosan. Yes, even the sanitizer has the evil ingredient, although the active ingredient is ethyl alcohol, so you have to lift the sticker and dig deep into the regular ingredients to find it. They even offer (only?) antibacterial lotions.
I’m tired of it.
The slogan on their website at the antibacterial page is “Spread love, not germs.” What is a “germ” anyway? If a germ is something that makes me sick, it’s just inaccurate advertising to try to convince me that antibacterial soaps will keep “germs” away. Most of the sick bugs I’m afraid of are viruses, or “germs” that aren’t touched by antibacterial soaps in the least. Research also shows that people who use antibacterial soaps get runny noses, diarrhea and vomiting illnesses just as frequently as those who use regular soap and water.
Let’s tell Bath and Body Works that there is a market of reformed germaphobes, people who value a little bacteria on their hands, and people who value the fish in our lakes and streams. A market to which they should sell something WITHOUT triclosan.
Click on this link for the contact webpage form at Bath and Body Works. Copy the text of the following letter into the box after giving your information. (Feel free to edit and personalize it.) This will take about 60 seconds. Think of the act of service you can do for the earth God created, all while sitting in your computer chair.
A letter to Bath and Body Works
To Whom It May Concern:
I would like to thank Bath and Body Works for beginning to carry the Cleanwell line of natural soaps. However, I am fed up with the prevalence of triclosan, the antibacterial agent found in the products that carry the Bath and Body Works name.
I am writing to request that you strongly consider a line of handsoaps and sanitizers that do not contain triclosan and are not antibacterial. The research is clear that regular soap works just as well as antibacterial soap to keep people healthy. Triclosan does a great deal to keep our environment unhealthy, though. Consider the following:
*By killing good and bad bacteria, triclosan may be responsible for an increase in allergies and asthma as children grow up in a sterilized world and their immune systems have little chance to exercise.
*Because of the few bacteria that triclosan doesn’t kill, it contributes to bacterial resistance and “super-bugs” that are immune to modern antibiotics.
*It is a probable hormone disruptor.
*It stays on hands up to four hours after washing and can be ingested
*It is not completely removed by wastewater treatment processes, so it ends up in both our lake and drinking water. As a result, it has been found in human breastmilk, and its toxicity to aquatic life puts our lake and stream ecosystems in grave danger.
Please consider that the American Medical Association recommended that antibacterial soaps not be sold for household use back in 2002. The Centers for Disease Control and the Environmental Protection Agency both recommend plain soap for handwashing. See the following websites for sources:
Thank you for taking the time to read my concerns. I regret that I can’t say I’m a faithful customer; there’s just not much in the store that I can purchase in good conscience.
I can’t wait to hear about what they reply to you! I have already sent my letter and am working on the follow-up to their response (typical marketing hoo-ha). Please leave a quick comment at this post if you send the letter, just so we all can rally and see how many people are willing to take the 60 seconds.
UPDATE: Here is KS’s reply to BBW’s response letter. Click through to send it off!
Read the first call to action on reduced produce here.
If you missed the last Monday Mission, click here.
See the All Things Eco Blog Carnival for more super posts!