For over 8 years, my family has used only natural, organic, & toxic options for personal care.
What I learned to look for when purchasing (or making my own) hand soap or sanitizer:
a Certified Organic symbol on the label or some Certified Organic ingredients on the ingredient list (the more the better). Some companies will put that they are 70% organic on the front of the label, for example, but what about the other 30%? is the other 30% of ingredients close enough to organic to be considered healthy? Read the label, research ingredients, and decide for yourself what's healthy for you and your family.
- EWG.org (Environmental Working Group) is "a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment". You can research hand soaps, body soaps, hand sanitizers, household cleansers, air fresheners, and much more for ingredient ratings on whether they are a threat to your health. Here's a link to to EWG's SkinDeep site where you can search for the ratings for soaps/sanitizers.
- Download the Think Dirty App and scan your household items to see what health concerns they may cause.
Two common products used on the skin that have moderate to high health hazards in review of ingredients by EWG.org are Dial Hand Soap and Purell Hand Sanitizer:
Dial Hand Soap -> has a 5 out of 10 rating saying that it's a moderate health hazard. For Dial's Antibaterial Hand Soap, Gold with Moisturizer, we find it says this "HIGH concerns: Contamination concerns, Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs), Miscellaneous, Occupational hazards, Persistence and bioaccumulation; Other MODERATE concerns: Endocrine disruption, Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive); Other LOW concerns: Enhanced skin absorption, Cancer, Data gaps, Ecotoxicology".
Purell Hand Sanitizer -> has a 4-8 out of 10 rating saying that it's a moderate to high health hazard. "HIGH concerns: Multiple, additive exposure sources, Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs), Miscellaneous; Other MODERATE concerns: Contamination concerns, Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), Occupational hazards; Other LOW concerns: Enhanced skin absorption, Biochemical or cellular level changes, Cancer, Data gaps, Ecotoxicology, Endocrine disruption, Neurotoxicity, Persistence and bioaccumulation".
So, as you can see, there are moderate to high health risk factors with these two very commonly used products: Dial Soap & Purell.
So what do we do about this? Well, it's easy to control what's going on in our own home by make sure we read ingredient labels and searching for the closest thing to pure, wildcrafted, and organic as possible.
Aren't antibacterial soaps more beneficial than plain old soap?
In fact, Dr. Mercola (along with several others) state that there are actually harmful effects in the use of antibacterial hand soaps affecting hormonal imbalance and much more because of the chemical triclosan found in some antibacterial handsoaps.
Here's a video from CNN (from 2010) on this subject of the possible harm of triclosan: