Back in 2009, Natalie Kassel, one of my ProjectMERIT students, organized a campaign to get local public schools to stop using triclosan in schools. She had conducted an experiment to prove that regular soap kills just as many germs as antibacterial soap. After reaching out to every school in the county, she successfully banned triclosan and protected thousands of students. Her project, WASHUP (Worthless Antibacterial Soap Harms Us Permanently) brought attention to this problem almost a decade ago.
Today, eight years later, researchers have found that triclosan interferes with hormones and reproductive systems. Yup! And what’s worse? Triclosan is found in most Americans! It pollutes the environment and it harms our bodies. What’s alarming is that it is in many personal care items (lotions, shampoos, conditioners, toothpaste, and soaps), as well as clothing (underwear, sports apparel, sweatshirts, dresses, wet suits, and shoes). For a complete list of items, check here!