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Just Say No to Microban

August 20, 2010

Yesterday I received a random lunch bag in the mail from California Innovations. I don’t know why I got it. Perhaps I gave my address when signing up for a newsletter.  Who knows? As I pulled the pretty pink lunch bag out of the box, I noticed the big tags stating – “PVC, Lead and Phthalate Free.”  Oh, goody! I thought. A nice new bag that’s eco-friendly.  Then I noticed the Microban hang tag. And I dropped that lunch bag like a hot potato.

Heading back to school, you might find a lot of products made with Microban. Microban is an anti-bacterial coating used to prevent bacteria growth on many surfaces. From lunchboxes to socks to even the toothbrush that you might buy, so many products are made with Microban. And that’s the scary thing.

Microban contains triclosan, a super duty chemical that does indeed kill germs, but some studies are questioning whether it’s contributing to the cause of “super bugs,” which are more difficult to control with medication, as well as to the possible link with endocrine disruption.

I did notice before I dropped the lunch bag out of my hand that the company stated that Microban protection will last for the life of the product – that it will not wear out or come off. It will always be there.  That’s pretty scary, I think. You can’t get away from the stuff.

I wonder whatever happened to common sense. At what point did we, as a society, become too busy that we can’t even make time for proper hygiene and we have to rely on chemical companies to do it for us? Ever heard of soap and water? Dirt and grime and all kinds of other things build up on products, too, not just bacteria. You can’t rely on a chemical to give you a free ride from cleaning.

So take a hard look at the products that you’re buying for back to school this year, or at any time of the year. Backpacks, lunch bags, socks, clothes, etc…….they all might have an anti-bacterial coating, whether it’s called Microban or not.

Germs are always present. It’s a fact of life. But how you choose to deal with it is a testament to your health philosophy – use a man-made chemical or use time-tested all natural remedies from nature. You decide.

This post is for the Green Moms Carnival on Back to School hosted this month by Mindful Momma.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. August 20, 2010 12:27 pm

    Very interesting topic, you are right Microban is everywhere, but also has been for a few years now. I am going to have to have a better read on Microban and the good or bad in association.

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