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Four Health Myths You Probably Believe Are True

By       Message Martha Rosenberg     Permalink
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Antibacterial Cleansers Keep You Healthy

 

Most people know by now that the orgy of antibacterial dish, body and laundry soaps that emerged in the 2000s do less to protect people from germs than to build new and better germs via antibiotic resistance. They also know that such bacterial overkill   (soap and water work just as well) is at the basis of the "hygiene hypothesis" theory of childhood allergies that says a too clean environment with no exposure to microbes subverts the immune system.

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But who knew that the germ killers in such products, called endocrine (hormone) disrupters, are the same pesticides that are producing frogs with no penises in polluted streams?

 

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Studies show that one "antibacterial" agent nee pesticide, triclosan, breaks down into chloroform with tap water and dioxin in the environment, impairs thyroid function and lives in human breast milk, urine and blood. When Dr. S arah Janssen, a staff scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council, spoke in Chicago last year about the health risks of triclosan and other endocrine disruptors in consumer products, many went home and filled garbage bags with Ajax and Palmolive antibacterial dish detergents, "deodorant" bar soaps and Colgate's Total toothpaste. Yes, people are brushing their teeth with pesticides.


Meat, poultry and even fish ave grown with antibiotics
(Image by Martha Rosenberg)
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Meat Is Safe If You Cook It

 

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There are knowns and unknowns when eating meat products to quote a former defense secretary. Thorough cooking kills pathogens like E. coli, salmonella, listeria and campylobacter but what about veterinary drugs, pesticides and heavy metals like copper and arsenic? Are they dug in with the A1 Steak Sauce?

 

Yes according to a 2010 Office of Inspector General report. Of 23 pesticides designated by the EPA and FDA as high risk, the Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service only tests for one and in just six months, four carcasses with "violative levels of veterinary drugs" were released onto the public dinner plate.

 

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Martha Rosenberg is an award-winning investigative public health reporter who covers the food, drug and gun industries. Her first book, Born With A Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks and Hacks Pimp The Public Health, is distributed by Random (more...)
 

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