Stuff like this is why I banned triclosan-laced soap products in my house last year.
The soap was infuriating enough. It's also in mattresses, clothes, toothpaste, mouthwash, deodorant, cosmetics, toys...
I'm starting to wonder why no amount of evidence will reverse our increasingly germophobic culture. When I was a kid - long, long ago - not everything was wrapped in plastic. Supermarkets didn't offer antimicrobial wipes to protect us from the deadly, deadly shopping carts. We weren't afraid to touch each other.
Beyond basic hygiene, there comes a point at which the germs aren't real - they're moral. Religions can become obsessed with "clean and unclean," and our secular religion is way, way down that road. It always seems to end up with certain classes of people becoming untouchable.
I knew a man once who never opened a tin can without first wiping the top with bleach. I swear I'm not making this up, Everybody was surprised when both his sons came down with asthma. Meanwhile, my son of the same age was munching dirt in his mom's garden, and today he enjoys robust good health.
I always thought it was done for the same reason as vaccination. Prevent illness in the healthy, protect the immune-deficient.
Then again, this only really started after H1N1. It probably just hasn't died down because marketers realized that if we still act like there's an epidemic, they can still sell us hygiene products like there's an epidemic. Who needs Atwood's real genetically engineered diseases when you can do just as well with imaginary ones amirite?
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