Many things horrified me about the pandemic, as I’m sure it did for you as well. That’s one thing we can all share, no matter what side of the aisle we’re on.
But one thing that bothered me the most was the indiscriminate use of hand sanitizer and other disinfecting products.
After all, people were using them after touching practically anything and everything… not realizing that their newest obsession has a dark side.
That’s because these products wipe out both good and bad bacteria. And, as research shows, overusing them is leading to a new public health crisis…
Harmful to human health
Many popular sanitizers contain quaternary ammonium compounds (QACs).
These dangerous components have already been linked to antibiotic resistance. But the evidence of harm to human health doesn’t end there…
A recent scientific review of QACs showed adverse skin and respiratory effects, developmental and reproductive toxicity, and disruption of metabolic function. And the more we’re exposed to them, the greater the threat.
Well, unfortunately, the pandemic magnified the use of these products in ALL settings. People were using them on pillows, socks, furniture, airplane brochures, and other unimaginable places!
In fact, the level of QACs in the environment are already approaching levels known to be toxic to aquatic organisms… and we’re seeing detectable levels in human blood and breast milk.
Worse yet, QACs are barely regulated. Manufacturers aren’t even required to print them on product labels. (They’re also in paint.) And they’re not comprehensively screened for health hazards.
So, their detrimental effects are likely much more far-reaching… along with the other thousands of chemicals we come into contact with daily.
Safer, cleaner alternatives
Now, perhaps I’m too sensitive to this particular situation. I mean, I once had a patient who was covered in viral warts because of his addiction to using hand sanitizers… and that was before the pandemic.
So I’m terrified to see how this all pans out. (This is yet another substance that’s being forced upon us without being properly analyzed. Why am I not surprised?)
Of course, that’s not to say that disinfectants don’t serve a purpose. They do.
But I have to warn you that too much of a good thing is very real here. After all, we NEED certain bacteria in order to stay healthy. And the obsession with constantly wiping them all out must end.
Instead of hand sanitizer (or even antibacterial soap), I simply recommend washing your hands with plain soap and water. Even rubbing your hands together under water is better than sanitizers that are full of harmful ingredients, including triclosan and triclocarban.
And when it comes to disinfectants, I find there isn’t anything a little bit of baking soda, vinegar, or hydrogen peroxide (and hot water) can’t tackle. Learn more here.
“Overuse of Some Disinfectants Can Do More Harm Than Good.” Medpage Today, 05/30/2023. (medpagetoday.com/opinion/second-opinions/104741)