Monday, September 14, 2009

what you don't know CAN hurt you

Ever use Pine-Sol to clean the kitchen? Bought one of those plastic cutting boards that are treated to be germ free? Have a plastic sponge that has some chemical attached so it won't grow germs? Well, me too. I have always been sanguine about these approaches to fighting the chicken crud, and been very smug about spraying Lysol all around and wiping it down. Huh.

Turns out there is pretty good evidence to show that exposure to these kinds of chemicals, benzylkonium chloride and hexachlorophene are ones you may recognize if you are a label-reader, promotes resistance to antibiotics. It's already a huge problem, antibiotic resistance, and there has not been a new class of antibiotics introduced in decades. Unregulated administration of antibiotics to treat non-bacterial diseases, not to mention the use of antibiotics to grow animals for food, has multiplied the number of pathogens that succumb to few, or even no, antibiotics. And that is not a good thing, Martha. So shucks, there, ma'am, I am part of the problem. Who knew? Well, back to bleach in a spray bottle for me. It's even cheaper.

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