Coronavirus Caution: Pregnant Women Should Avoid Antimicrobial Sanitizer

pregnant women should avoid antimicrobial sanitizer

It’s impossible to avoid: Coronavirus exists and you need to protect yourself! And, if you find yourself pregnant during this global health crisis, you may, out of concern, turn to antimicrobial sanitizer.

But research does NOT back that up, and actually suggests that pregnant women should avoid antimicrobial sanitizer, as both mama and baby may experience potential risks for their health. It’s not hard to understand why: antimicrobials are classified as pesticides by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Related: FDA Bans Many Antibacterial Soaps: What You Need to Know

Yes, the whole world is losing it’s mind to buy pesticides to protect them from a virus that most people recover from when they catch it. Science. Antimicrobial sanitizers are not really all that great for many, if honest. In a pinch, and world crisis? Sure. But in general? Not the best choice, and particularly not for pregnant women.

One study, presented at the 248th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society, revealed serious concerns about the safety of antibacterial and antimicrobial products for pregnant women. The study shows that mothers and fetuses could “face potential health risks” from two commonly used agents found in everything from toothpaste to toys.

‘We looked at the exposure of pregnant women and their fetuses to triclosan and triclocarban, two of the most commonly used germ-killers in soaps and other everyday products,’ says Benny Pycke, Ph.D. ‘We found triclosan in all of the urine samples from the pregnant women that we screened. We also detected it in about half of the umbilical cord blood samples we took, which means it transfers to fetuses. Triclocarban was also in many of the samples.’

The problem with this, explains Pycke, a research scientist at Arizona State University (ASU), is that there is a growing body of evidence showing that the compounds can lead to developmental and reproductive problems in animals and potentially in humans. Also, some research suggests that the additives could contribute to antibiotic resistance, a growing public health problem.” American Chemical Society.

Rolf Halden, Ph.D., lead investigator of the study, said that since use of the products is so widespread, the chemicals are harder to avoid than we might expect. “…the truth is that we have universal use of these chemicals, and therefore also universal exposure.”

More than 2,000 products marketed as antimicrobial contain triclosan and triclocarban, which has been associated with a host of other health concerns over the years. Treated items include a surprising assortment of apparel, toys, body care products and kitchenware, among others.

So, how SHOULD you protect yourself against Coronavirus, particularly if you’re pregnant? In a world full of all-of-a-sudden sanitizer shortage because it seems like people forget that even the CDC says that if it’s not at least 60% alcohol, it’s probably not gonna work, don’t buy into the hype.

The best way to protect yourself is to WASH YOUR HANDS. Frequently, for at least 20 seconds or more, and with good old soap and water!

But, be careful! There are tons of toxins lurking in soaps, even natural ones, so be on the lookout for the following:

  • Triclosan:  This is the big one to watch out for because it’s the same ick that is not great in hand sanitizers. It’s often found in antibacterial products, hand sanitizers, and deodorants, it is linked to cancer and endocrine disruption.
  • DEA/TEA/MEA: Possible carcinogens.
  • Ethoxylated surfactants and 1,4-dioxane: You may not see these ingredients listed because they’re by-products, but essentially, if there’s anything that has ‘eth’ in it, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) says be wary.
  • Coal Tar: Banned in the European Union, most often in shampoo or dry skin-treatments, so be careful in moisturizing.
  • Formaldehyde: Probably carcinogenic and banned in the European Union.
  • Parabens: Preservatives that have been linked to reproductive toxicity, cancer and endocrine disruption.
  • Phthalates: Yes, they’re even in some soaps, believe it or not, as plasticizers. Banned in the European Union. Linked to endocrine disruption, cancer and damage to the lungs, kidney and liver.
  • PEG (Polyethylene glycol): Often used as a penetration enhancer, possible carcinogen.
  • Sodium Lauryl (ether) Sulfate (SLES, SLS): Soap does NOT have to foam or be bubbly to be effective. Let me say it again. Soap DOES NOT HAVE to be foamy or bubbly, and those ingredients can irritate your skin!
  • Fragrance/Parfum: Holy heck, stay away from any of this. Those are trash can terms for allll sorts of chemicals and just not good. If you want scent, stick with natural, essential oil-based scents, or better yet, just go for unscented and be glad for the clean effect!
  • Silicone-derived emollients: In some soaps, though not many, this makes the soap feel softer, and your hand to feel smoother after. They’re not biodegradable, though, and they’re linked to tumor growth.

Related: 10 Things You Should Buy For Coronavirus (Instead of Stockpiling Toilet Paper)

Additionally, do everything you would to keep yourself protected from any other illness. Be sure you’re eating well and getting good rest. Take high-quality supplements and boost your immune system. We love Herb Pharma, Flora and Vitamin C. (Yes, despite all the haters who are trying to say that Vitamin C does nothing, preliminary results out of Wuhan show tremendous promise for High-Dose Intravenous C as a treatment.)

But specifically addressing the crazy hand sanitizer stockpiling? Just don’t. Especially if you’re pregnant.

Reducing the use of these products can help minimize direct risk to the pregnant woman and her unborn child while limiting the overall pollution of our water supplies and ecosystems with these agents.

Photo:Black Kings/Shutterstock


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