Trickster in Your Sheets
In folklore, a trickster is a person who lies or deceives. In our tale, it’s a trickster chemical. Thanks to wily marketing, it supposedly “does you good” but…. There’s no happy ending.
Ready to add sumptuous sheets or other bedding to your natural bedroom? When you’re shopping for mattresses or bedding, beware products described with terms like “antibacterial”, “odor controlling” or similar terms. They have been treated with one of the more hazardous (and common) chemicals found in home products today—triclosan.
You may have heard that antibacterial soaps and hand sanitizers (most made with triclosan) are contributing to dangerous antibiotic resistance in the population—and that they’re not one bit better at getting rid of germs than ordinary soap and water! But you may not have known that triclosan is also embedded in many mattresses and bedding products.
Triclosan is associated with a number of negative health effects. It is toxic to the liver, and at low doses, can increase the proliferation of breast cancer or other cancer cells. It chemically mimics thyroid hormone while blocking normal hormones in the body. It even raises the risk of developing hay fever and food allergies—an ironic wake-up for parents who may believe that “antibacterial” bedding sounds as though it’d be better for kids.
It’s not, and it’s not better for you, either. It’s also extremely harmful to the environment, because it damages marine algae that are responsible for much of the earth’s photosynthesis.
Keeping It Clean
The bottom line on keeping bedding clean and odor free is not to rely on added chemicals. The best answer is the same as for the how-do-I-sanitize-my-hands? dilemma. You sanitize your hands by washing them with soap (or using a triclosan-free sanitizer when you can’t find a sink). Soap’s the right approach for healthful bedding, too. Just wash your bedding regularly with an eco-friendly laundry soap and “odor control” won’t even be an issue.
It’s worth pondering that using so many antibacterials wasn’t even on consumers’ radar until clever companies advertised the “sanitize everything” idea to death—and spooked many people into believing that all germ exposure is dangerous.
In fact, exposure to bacteria is exactly what helps children develop healthy immune systems. That doesn’t mean we should ditch household cleanliness or common-sense hygiene, such as always washing hands thoroughly after using the bathroom or before eating. (Using triclosan-free sanitizers on shopping-cart handles during colds season is a smart move, too.)
But triclosan added to mattresses, mattress pads or sheets? Time to boot this chemical from your bed. Check out Savvy Rest's organic bedding for a start, and sleep triclosan free.