Consumer Reports, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, and the state of California announce that a chemical known as 4-methylimidazole or 4-Mel found in many soft drinks and foods may be carcinogenic. 4-Mel is labeled simply as “caramel coloring” on U.S. product labels and it gives foods its golden-brown color. The state of California has placed a limit on 4-Mel containing products to 29 micrograms. However, Consumer Reports has found that many products still exceeded the permitted limit and the same products outside of California contained amounts even greater. What is the best way to educate about dangers of consuming foods containing caramel coloring?
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A recent report by CNN brings attention back to triclosan, the main antibacterial ingredient in nonalcoholic hand sanitizers. The report discusses that triclosan harms the immune and endocrine systems in addition to decreasing muscle strength in animal studies. Furthermore, triclosan does not offer protection against viruses or fungi and elicits antibiotic resistance. Researchers recommend washing hands with soap and water for about 24 seconds instead of using hand sanitizer for it is both safe and effective at removing bacteria and viruses.
How often do you use hand sanitizer? How often do you recommend the use soap and water instead? What are your thoughts on essential oil-based hand sanitizers?