Kitchen Stewardship | A Baby Steps Approach to Balanced Nutrition

Bath and Body Works/Triclosan Update: KS Responds to their Reply

September 9th, 2009 · 11 Comments · Call to Action, Cleaning

notriclosan-300x300Triclosan Update!  If you live in the Washington, D.C. area, please participate, and for everyone, please forward this info on to anyone you know in D.C.:

On September 12th Washington D.C. residents can wash their hands of Triclosan by dropping off any products they find in their homes that contain this ingredient at the Whole Foods Market at 1440 P St NW from 10am to 2pm. Because triclosan is considered hazardous waste, the items will be brought to an appropriate disposal site.

Read more on this subject below, from an email from the Cleanwell company.

bathandbodyworksI am tickled that so many folks sent a letter to Bath and Body Works a few weeks back with our first major Call to Action.  (If you missed it, see the original here.)  I’m pretty passionate about disliking Bath and Body Works on the principle that they have wayyyyy too much triclosan in all of their products.  But I’m not really mean; I even give them marketing tips in this email note!

I noticed in the comments at that post that two people included their reply, and the second one seemed to have gone higher in the BBW stratosphere.  It included this note:

We appreciate your feedback and will forward it to our Product Managers for review.

And a number to call:

Thanks again for contacting us. We hope you will continue to enjoy your favorites from Bath & Body Works and The White Barn Candle Co. If we can do anything else for you, please feel free to reply to this e-mail (please do not change the subject line) or call us at 1-800-395-1001.

Hmmm.  Impact? Maybe.

Let’s do it again!

Here’s the response I drafted to the reply Bath and Body Works sent to our letter asking them to reconsider (i.e. ban!) their use of triclosan in all of their products.  Please consider sending it as a reply to the response you received if you sent the first letter, and if you haven’t sent a letter (email) yet, head back to the first post and get on board!  Hopefully BBW sees each letter as indicative of 100 people who think that way.

(Click here to email Bath and Body Works.)

handsoap

A Letter to Bath and Body Works

Thank you for your reply; however, my concerns are far from “put to rest.”

I sent some sources for my information in my first letter.  I’d like to see the sources you cite for your facts, please.  (See the first letter attached below.)  I am particularly interested in your source from the CDC, since my source quoted the Centers for Disease Control as recommending plain soap for handwashing (www.cdc.gov/ncidod/eid/vol7no2/larson.htm).

Here is yet another source that proves that triclosan is harmful to our environment and our children’s health and ought not be used in common hand soaps:

http://www.beyondpesticides.org/pesticides/factsheets/Triclosan%20cited.pdf

“Laboratory studies with triclosan have found a number of different strains of mutated bacteria that are resistant to triclosan.  While most resistant bacteria grow more slowly than sensitive bacteria, E. coli strains that are resistant to triclosan actually have increased growth rates. Constant exposure to triclosan will cause these resistant strains to tolerate it better, become increasingly hardy, and ever more resistant.”

Did you know that Cleanwell, a brand sold at Bath and Body Works, has called triclosan “hazardous waste”?  I’m surprised two companies that work together so closely would have such differing opinions on a rather important topic.

In conclusion, I urge you to remain one step ahead of the government.  Take good care of your customers by giving them a product that does no harm, yet is proven effective by countless research studies:  soap.  Why sell anti-bacterial products that are proven to work no better than their standard counterparts and MAY cause problems for our health and our environment?  Our culture is heading in the direction of anti-antibacterial, believe it or not.  Many factions, from mommies to greenfeet to poly-sci majors, are becoming concerned about antibacterial resistance caused by triclosan.  I am sure you could launch a good marketing campaign and be the leader in your field, selling soap as the latest, greatest get-clean product.  I look forward to your response and a change in the stock of Bath and Body Works.

Thank you for your time,

Leave a comment if you take the time to send this email to Bath and Body Works.  Let’s be leaders in the anti-antibacterial revolution, good Kitchen Stewards!!!

More info on the Triclosan Dropoff

Here is the email I received from the Cleanwell Company about the Triclosan dropoff in Washington, D.C.:

Triclosan Drop-Off Program to Raise Awareness of the Ubiquity and Dangers of this Chemical Found in Soap and Other Household Products

CleanWell Company, makers of the first all-natural antibacterial soap, helps consumers take an easy step toward a healthy home.

SAN FRANCISCO — Sept 2, 2009 — According to the American Journal of Infection Control, nearly 100 percent of antibacterial liquid hand soaps found in U.S. stores contain the toxic ingredient Triclosan. Antibacterial bar soaps contain a similar ingredient called Triclocarban. Once these toxic ingredients are disposed down the drain (due to hand washing), they pose an immediate threat to the environment by polluting the water supply and, thus, compromising public safety.

“Products with ingredients such as Triclosan or Triclocarban have been known to combine with sunlight and trace chlorine in tap water to form dangerous carcinogens,” said Ann Blake, Ph.D., a leading environmental and public health consultant. “As a community, we need to take public health into our own hands and take the necessary steps to eliminate the use of these toxic ingredients in our personal care products.”

On September 12th Washington D.C. residents can wash their hands of Triclosan by dropping off any products they find in their homes that contain this ingredient at the Whole Foods Market at 1440 P St NW from 10am to 2pm. Because triclosan is considered hazardous waste, the items will be brought to an appropriate disposal site.

CleanWell Company, a San Francisco-based startup, provides consumers with a way to finally clean with confidence and without compromising their health and safety. CleanWell’s hand soaps and hand sanitizers are based on a patented blend of pure botanicals that replaces toxic chemicals normally found in popular antibacterial hand hygiene products with powerful, all-natural germ-killing ingredients that have been proven to kill 99.99 percent of germs such as Staph, MRSA (drug-resistant Staph), E. coli and Salmonella.

CleanWell will make it easy for people to trade-in their triclosan based soaps by providing a buy one get one free offer on CleanWell All-Natural Antibacterial Hand Soaps at all Whole Foods Markets in the Washington D.C area from Wednesday Sept 9th until Tuesday Sept 15th.

Getting rid of triclosan definitely Works for Me!

Use the code CWAA5 to save 15% on CleanWell products, including CleanWell’s Natural Hand Sanitizer, until 12/31/2012.

I’d love to see more of you!  Sign up for an email subscription or grab my reader feed.

If you missed the last Monday Mission, click here.

Kitchen Stewardship is dedicated to balancing God’s gifts of time, health, earth and money.  If you feel called to such a mission, read more at Mission, Method, and Mary and Martha Moments.

Tags: ··

11 Comments so far ↓

  • MamaHall

    “Be the change you want to see in the world.” -Gandhi

    Good job- keep on pressing forward and CHANGE is bound to happen!

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Louisa

    Sent my reply in too. Thanks Katie.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Tanya Brown

    I sent in my reply. Guess we will see what kind of reply we get this time:)

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Tanya Brown

    I got two responses. Both were really nothing. The first one is just saying that she forwarded my message to a different person. This is the response from the different person:

    Case # 2196810

    Dear Tanya,

    We appreciate you taking the time to write us in regards to our policies, services and products. We value your inquiry and your interest in Bath & Body Works and The White Barn Candle Co.

    Our company uses triclosan in antimicrobial personal care products which provide essential benefit to the consumer. We understand the concerns raised regarding triclosan uses and its potential fate in the environment. For antimicrobial personal care products, the fate in the environment is typically wastewater. Once in sewage treatment plants, triclosan is almost completely removed from the wastewater through biodegradation. Research shows that only small traces are detectable in the water that finally reaches rivers. The little amount that does arrive is degraded to almost a non-existent state by either biological or photolytic processes. Multiple studies on the behavior of triclosan in the human body show that triclosan, when absorbed through the skin or orally, is very rapidly eliminated from the body, and has no adverse impact on human health. We are confident in the responsible use of triclosan in our products that provide essential benefit to the consumer.

    Thanks again for contacting us. We hope you will continue to enjoy your favorites from Bath & Body Works and The White Barn Candle Co. If we can do anything else for you, please feel free to reply to this e-mail (please do not change the subject line) or call us at 1-800-395-1001.

    Sincerely,

    Tami Henry

    Tami Henry
    Customer Relations Representative

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Tori

    I love what all of you are doing and I’m looking for ways to contribute. I just followed links to these posts about triclosan today, while I knew that the anti-bacterial craze was going way overboard, and potentially harmful by increasing resistant bacteria, I had no idea it was so very serious. But I had to laugh when I followed the last link (above) and the first thing I saw at the top of the web page was an ad for none other than Bath & Body Works!
    oh boy! (the link in question was: “Getting rid of triclosan definitely Works for Me!” linking to http://www.wearethatfamily.com/2009/09/wfmw-homework-center.html)
    Keep up the good work!
    Tori

    [Reply to this comment]

  • All Things Eco Blog Carnival Volume Sixty Seven | Focus Organic.com

    [...] presents Bath and Body Works/Triclosan Update: KS Responds to their Reply posted at Kitchen Stewardship. Katie says, "Send this form letter to convince Bath and Body Works [...]

  • momtomomhealth

    Thanks for the helpful information! Here are just a few products which contain Triclosan:
    Dial Liquid Soap, Softsoap Antibacterial Liquid Hand Soap, Clearasil Daily Face Wash, Clean and Clear Foaming Facial Cleanser, Jasons Natural Cosmetics, Aveeno Therapeutic Shave Gel, and many more….read your labels.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Leanne

    This is great information. Thanks! Do you have any recommendations for alternative soap that is both safe to use and not harmful to the enivornment?

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Leanne,
    There are plenty of natural brands out there – read ingredients for anything NOT including triclosan, and, at best, sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate. I currently use handmade soaps from Graham’s Gardens or MadeOn Lotion Bar. If I refill a foaming pump, I use castille soap or Shaklee Basic H.
    :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Kylie

    It’s amazing that they can get away with putting such a dangerous ingredient in something that is supposed to be used to provide safe ingestion of foods, contact with others, prevention of spreading hurtful germs, etc.

    I have been an old faithful when it comes to BBW hand soap. They have delicious fragrances that are very pleasing to your sense of smell. I make frequent trips to my local BBW outlet and normally, I stock up on soap while I am there.

    Out of no where I developed an eczema-like rash on both of my hands, and I couldn’t figure out where it came from. It itched, and spread, and my Dr. had no idea what it was.

    In browsing posts on pinterest one day, I found one post about “Triclosan” and the effects it has. I read that after prolonged exposure it can cause an eczematic rash. I have since stopped using the BBW soap, and started putting a salve on my hands that seems to be clearing it up.

    This just urks me that such a reputable company does this to it’s die hard consumers!

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Elizabeth Ansel

    There is something in it causing me skin breakouts and something that is like eating the few top layers of skin right off.
    I have the same reaction to lavender. I am not sure but if I use hand sanitizer at all from or by anyone I will be sorry. my hands itch and break out.
    Now I am having the same issue with all and any bath and body works product. I will be banning them from now on. Its the only thing I haven’t quit using and still break out with.

    [Reply to this comment]

Leave a Comment

Welcome!  Meet Katie.

I embrace butter. I make homemade yogurt. I eat traditional real food – plants and animals that God created, not products of plants where food scientists work. Here at Kitchen Stewardship, I share how I strive to be a good steward of my family's nutrition, the environment, and our budget, all without spending every second in the kitchen. Learn more about the mission of KS here.

PTE350
Squooshi reusable food pouches