September 13, 2008

Back to School, Bacteria Free

By Strausfogel, Sherrie

Find out how to leave germs behind as your kids head back to school. Try these natural alternatives to chemical-laden antibacterial products Send the kids off to school with the best advice you can give to keep them healthy: "Wash your hands with soap and warm water!"

In a world full of germs and viruses, antibacterial products may seem like a good idea, but a closer look shows they present a serious threat to health and the environment. Over the past two decades, antibacterial products have flooded the marketplace, showing up in hundreds of products-every-thing from soaps and toothpastes to clothes and toys.

The most common antibacterial ingredient is iriclosan, a chemical reported to cause skin irritation. More worrisome, researchers have raised concerns about tridosan's link to dioxins, which are carcinogenic chemicals that can cause weakening of the immune system, decreased fertility, altered sex hormones, birth defects, and cancer.

Most soap labeled "antibacterial" contains triclosan. Many scientists now believe that triclosan is unnecessary and could also contribute to the rise of drug-resistant bacteria. And triclosan poses environmental concerns. It reacts with chlorine in tap water waste to create chloroform, a toxic chemical that eventually can end up in waterways.

"Simple hand washing several times a day with warm water and soap is the best way to resist the spread of germs," says Kenneth Beer, MD, board-certified cosmetic dermatologist and author of Palm Beach Perfect Skin. "There is no way, short of raising kids in a bubble, to keep them germ-free, and if you could, you would breed resistant organisms."

So before you kiss your kids good-bye, instruct the young ones to keep their hands out of their eyes and mouth, and remind older kids not to share drinks and food. Be sure to insist that they all wash their hands with soap and warm water as often as possible.

Health and Beauty with Tea Tree

If there is one product that should be in every natural medicine cabinet, it's tea tree oil, nature's most powerful antiseptic and infection fighter. This miraculous of from Australia's Melaleuca alternifolia tree has evolved from an Aboriginal "bush" remedy to one of the most respected broad-spectrum antimicrobial agents. Tea tree oil can be used for athlete's foot, nail fungus, insect bites, natural insect repellent, pimples, dermatitis, minor wounds and cuts, dandruff, and scalp irritations. A few drops m the patms of your hands make a great hand sanitizer.

1 Wake kids up in the morning with Derma E Tea Tree and E Face and Body Wash. This all-in-one, invigorating, germ-killing cleanser removes dirt, oil, toxins, and debris, leaving skin clean, soft, and deodorized. It's ideal for irritated or blemish-prone skin.

2 Wash away germs with Nature's Gate Organics Tea Tree Oil & Blue Cypress Liquid Soap. Antibacterial and anti-inflammatory tea tree oil and blue cypress, plus organic peppermint, licorice, and rose hips give this soap a fresh scent and leave hands feeling silky soft.

3 Nurture kids and the environment with Pure & Natural Cleansing Bar in Rosemary and Mint This all-vegetable-based bar soap cleanses and refreshes, plus, baby's breath seeds are imbedded in its eco- packaging. Kids can plant the carton, water, and watch the flowers grow.

4 Protect students' weary immune systems from invading germs with Desert Essence 100% Australian Tea Tree Oil, a natural first aid kit in a bottle. Dab this therapeutic oil on cuts, stings, burns, and abrasions. For face and other sensitive skin, add one or two drops to a moist cotton pad.


To fight germs, it's best to wash hands in warm water for a full 30 seconds. Don't forget to wash the backs of your hands and under fingernails.

Copyright Active Interest Media Sep 2008

(c) 2008 Better Nutrition. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.