Bath & Body Works—the mall mega-retailer responsible for plumeria-scented teen girls and suburban moms the world over—may be selling summer products containing the chemical triclosan, which is classified by the EPA as a pesticide. The Los Angeles Times reports that health and environmental groups are campaigning against Bath & Body Works for including the potential hormone-disruptor in its ‘Summertime Scent’ line of soaps.
Who among us hasn’t sport some ‘warm vanilla sugar’ or ‘moonlight path’ as a teen girl in America? I’m guilty of using B&BW body sprays until about two years ago, when my roommate who worked in a perfume lab began lecturing me about all the artificial ingredients in them (not to mention the fact that a grown woman shouldn’t smell like Citrus Peach).
The company’s latest antibacterial soaps (which have names such as ‘Kitchen Lemon,’ ‘Guava Blast,’ ‘Peach Bellini’ and ‘Summer Escape’) are marketed with the slogan “spread love, not germs.” But there’s no evidence that triclosan is a better germ-remover than plain soap and water; the FDA is currently re-reviewing its safety.
Children and teenage girls are especially vulnerable to hormone disruptors such as triclosan. But the chemical has also been linked to bacterial resistance (the Canadian Medical Association asked the government to ban it in all household products), is poisonous to acquatic life, and can combine with chlorine in tap water to form chloroform, another probable human carcinogen.
So…what we have here is a product marketed as something to keep you and your house safe from germs which a) isn’t any more effective than alternatives and b) may actually be harming you. No wonder they’re always having those 3-for-$10 sales.
Photo: For the Love of Beauty