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from the Editors or E/ The Environmental Magazine: "University of Michigan researchers reviewed numerous studies conducted between 1980 and 2006 and concluded that anti-bacterial soaps that contain triclosan as the main active ingredient are no better than plain soaps." Not only that, they may pose health risks such as killing beneficial bacteria and reducing the effectiveness of some antibiotics. (this study was published in the Journal Clinical Infectious Diseases). Apparently this active ingredient has also beben reported to have converted into dioxin when exposed to water and UV radiation. Dioxins have been linked to cancer, weakened immunity, decreased fertility, altered sex hormones and birth defects. Germs are starting to look less scary all the time, compared to chemicals. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are also frowned upon for stripping the skin of beneficial bacteria and its outer layer of protective oil. So, after all these studies, which probably cost sombody (us?) millions of dollars, what's the best advice? "washing hands thoroughly for 20 seconds or more with plain soap and warm water is by far the most effective way to reduce harmful bacteria, and as such remains our best defense against getting sick." I have some topics to suggest for their next study: "drinking water: is it good for us?" and "an apple a day- will it cause or prevent illness?" "common sense: a fad?" "Is an ounce of prevention really worth a pound of cure- an updated study using milligrams and kilograms." (Sarcasm aside, it's sad we have to be educated away from all these products that we've been brainwashed into buying. Maybe we really did learn all we needed to know in kindergarten).

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