Antibacterial Soap Is Latest Danger for Pregnant Women

pregnant woman holds stomachWe've always been told to wash our hands rigorously, for 20 seconds at a time, while silently singing "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star." It sounds easy enough, but now it turns out that pregnant women should add another layer of protection when they're scrubbing their hands. A group of scientists from the Arizona State University Biodesign Institute is now reporting that substances present in antibacterial soaps could harm pregnant women and their fetuses.

According to the researchers, triclosan and triclocarban are two of the most commonly used germ-killers and are present in soaps, toothpastes, detergents, and paints, among other household items. And constant use results in shorter birth lengths for newborns and can lead to developmental and reproductive issues.


Researchers say the scary chemicals were found in half of the urine samples taken from pregnant moms and in newborns' umbilical cord blood, showing that the substances do transfer to baby while the woman is pregnant. 

While you're trying your hardest to stay healthy, both for you and your baby, it's possible that you can be trying too hard. Yes, you want to rid yourself of germs and avoid bacteria and diseases because you don't want to be sick while pregnant, but you actually might be doing more harm than good. Talk about a catch 22!

You're trying to protect baby by keeping clean, and you may be hurting baby in the process. Can't win for losing, huh, Mom?

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Here's the thing: since the chemicals are present in so many normal household items that most of us use daily, take a look at that label. If it has triclosan or triclocarban, be wary. And before you start worrying about all the germs, a word?

Turns out, the chemicals aren't even effective. That's right. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says that the antibacterial soaps that contain triclosan and triclocarban are not safe (for consumers or the environment), and they're really not more effective than good ol' (non-antibacterial) soap and water. So making the change shouldn't worry you.

What sort of soaps are you using right now?


Image via summerbl4ck/Flickr

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