Friday, September 17, 2010

Costco is Killing Me

O.K., not really, but it's a catchy title!
Since I started reading Slow Death by Rubber Duck I’ve been more aware of the chemicals in things around me. I just finished reading the chapter on antibacterial overload. The germophobe in me recoiled at first, but then I was slowly won over as I realized that, while my beloved Purell might not be totally without merit in some instances, the overload of antibacterial everything really is.

Triclosan is a chemical that we shouldn’t be finding in such large quantities in people. But we are. After reading the chapter, I took a look around our house to see what antibacterial things we have around. Other than Purell (which actually doesn’t even list Tricolsan as an ingredient – I just checked), I don’t actively look to buy antibacterial products, so I wondered if we had much. We do.

We buy a lot of our bathroom products at Costco. It’s cheaper to buy things like toothpaste and liquid hand soap in bulk. It just makes sense. But I’d never really noticed that the liquid hand soap we get is antibacterial. And the huge package of family-size tubes of Colgate Total that I just bought on sale there? Antibacterial! Why do I need antibacterial toothpaste? Why does anybody? I know that we have antibacterial dish soap at the office (thankfully, not at home), but the lovely scented hand soap I love from Bath & Bodyworks? Full of triclosan and for good measure some phalates too. Yuck.

We’re planning another trip to Costco this week and I will definitely be paying attention to any products that we purchase. Now that I’m aware that Triclosan can be in anything from socks to garden hoses and all things in between, I want to be a more conscious consumer. Chances are I’ll finish up the products that I do have, because I think that waste is pretty evil too and just adding them to a landfill seems wrong, but that will be the end after that. I’ve realized that clean eating and non-toxic living go hand in hand and I feel good about making those choices.

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