Let's wipe the slate clean on all this germ nonsense
So the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in America has asked the makers of so-called antibacterial soaps to prove the antibacterial claims to be correct or stop producing the darn stuff:
(CNN) -- Manufacturers of antibacterial hand soap and body wash will be required to prove their products are more effective than plain soap and water in preventing illness and the spread of infection, under a proposed rule announced Monday by the Food and Drug Administration.
As this story spread like a germ infested toddler on a tricycle, it got me thinking of my own childhood.
How did I ever survive the myriad of germs and bacteria that I rubbed against, sat on and even placed in mouth amongst other orifices as a child?
Todays' children don't even smell like children should. They smell like Milton or other bleach products, and its their parents fault for sterilizing their kids!
Like many people they have been all to easily taken in by the anti-germ brigade, advertisers and sanitizers within todays profit driven world. First-time mothers are easy prey, and they can quickly fall victim to the hype of 'kills 99.9% of all known germs'.
BRING BACK SOAP ON A ROPE
But I grew up in the 1980's when soap was exactly that: just 'soap', not a laboratory tested 'hand sanitizer'. It came in a paper-wrapped, rectangular block similar to butter or lard (all the good for you things). Perhaps on special occasions it came on a rope in a presentation box, like at christmas.
There was no talk of antibacterial, hypoallergenic or medically proven formulas that kill all but 1% of known germs. Children were allowed to be children and do what children do best, like use all their five senses to explore the world around them. The worst punishment for getting dirty was more often than not - a shared bath with your siblings and the sting of dishwasher detergent in your eyes (my mothers value soap of choice).
I remember as a child I once drank floor cleaner from my grandmothers kitchen, thinking it was lemonade. It didn't do me any long-term harm as I didn't polish off the whole bottle. Well some people might disagree with me on that one. People have commented on the glint in my eye and I sometimes put it down to that episode.
THE YOUTH OF TODAY
But that feeling of the bleach like soda trickling down the back of my throat was not a pleasant feeling. And that's how I now imagine the youth of today must feel while they live inside their clean, parental introduced safety membranes, that sounds alarm bells if a precious offspring comes into close contact with an external sneeze cough or fart.
Other data suggests that long-term exposure to ingredients used in antibacterial products, like Triclosan, can actually be bad for your health, as they actually induce lower bacterial resistance (CNN).
Yes, the truth is that dirt is dirty. It makes a mess of light coloured carpets, clean clothes and Sunday morning children. But in my opinion, creating a permanent 99.9% barrier around children is just asking for trouble further down the line. Let the human body do the job of defending against foreign invaders. Build the immune system through enjoying your childhood. Parents, save yourself a fortune in your grocery shopping by saying 'NO' to fancy worded advertising combined with pharmaceutical hype.
We know pharma' companies like to clean up, but its usually monetary rather than medically related.
DONT TOUCH - WONT TOUCH
People are now so scared of picking up a disease or infection by using an inferior product that they're actually afraid to even touch a soap dispenser over a sink or in a shower. Never mind a bar of sticky carbolic soap.
In fact, the more I think about it, the whole soap-on-a-rope idea could actually see a revival. Pop the fresh scented necklace over your neck and work up a lather on your own or perhaps between you and a partner if you also worry about conserving water.
And come on now, what's the point of a 'no-touch' soap pump? Surely you're killing 99.9% of the germs you get from touching the pump when you wash your hands with the bloody soap!
Antibacterial 'no touch' dispensers are now as sleek and stylish as the stainless-steel look expresso machine or three-in-one juicers that they sit beside on the kitchen counter.
I don't know, maybe i'm just old style or just set in my ways. I drink tea and then wash my cup in the sink. I still read a newspaper from time-to-time too. But if I get my hands dirty from the garbage that some companies pass off as news these days, I Just wash them under the tap with a bar of soap and wipe them on my clean jumper.