WBEZ | Alliance for the Great Lakes http://www.wbez.org/tags/alliance-great-lakes Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en EcoMyths: Does antibacterial soap make us safer than regular soap? http://www.wbez.org/series/ecomyths/ecomyths-does-antibacterial-soap-make-us-safer-regular-soap-108709 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/washing-hands-plain-soap.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>When I go to the store to buy a refill for my home liquid soap dispensers, it is nearly impossible to find liquid soaps that are not &ldquo;antibacterial.&rdquo; I have heard for years that antibacterial soaps are suspected of helping to create antibiotic resistant bacteria.</p><p>So it got us thinking&hellip;does using antibacterial soap get us cleaner than regular soap and does it impact the environment the same way that antibiotics do? That is, does it get into natural systems and then back into our own?</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F105290486" width="100%"></iframe>To help us sort out the issues about antibacterial soaps, today on <em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview" target="_blank">Worldview</a></em>, host Jerome McDonnell and I discussed it with our friend and water expert, Olga Lyandres. Olga is research manager at the <a href="http://www.greatlakes.org" target="_blank">Alliance for the Great Lakes</a>.</p><p>Olga confirmed that antibacterial soap is being found more frequently in our drinking water. In fact, she said that the main active ingredient in antibacterial soap, triclosan, is number 14 on the Alliance&rsquo;s list of emerging contaminants of concern in water. &ldquo;There is a misconception that these products are protecting you more than regular soap,&rdquo; Olga stated, adding &ldquo;washing hands with regular soap is just as effective at preventing the spread of disease.&rdquo;</p><p>The problem is that triclosan is a broad-range antibacterial, meaning that it kills good bacteria right along with the bad. It is a myth, Olga reminded us, that all bacteria are bad! In fact, we have tons of beneficial bacteria throughout our bodies and in our guts. So much so that when we take prescription antibiotics to cure bacterial infection, we can get stomach upset for awhile because our good bacteria is being beaten back at the same time as the disease-inducing bacteria.</p><p>Hand washing is a worldwide priority for promoting health and preventing disease. The Centers for Disease Control and the Global Partnership for Hand Washing are among the groups that promote <a href="http://globalhandwashing.org/ghw-day" target="_blank">Global Hand Washing Day</a> every year on October 15th. This initiative promotes washing hands with plain old soap, instead of just plain water. They do not at all promote antibacterial soap. Many people around the world are unaware of the need to wash hands with soap, especially after using the toilet to remove traces of fecal matter and the germs associated with it. Hand washing with soap prevents disease by removing bacteria and viruses from hands.</p><p>To learn more about this myth check out the full EcoMyth <a href="http://www.ecomythsalliance.org/2013/08/antibacterial-soap-myth/" target="_blank">here</a>.</p></p> Tue, 13 Aug 2013 09:24:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/ecomyths/ecomyths-does-antibacterial-soap-make-us-safer-regular-soap-108709 Environmentalists react to proposed cuts in Great Lakes clean-up program http://www.wbez.org/story/2012-budget/environmentalists-react-proposed-cuts-great-lakes-clean-program <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/flag beach.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Some environmentalist groups say slashing funding for the EPA wouldn't be good for the Great Lakes. President Obama's proposed 2012 budget would cut 125 million dollars slated for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. Cameron Davis is a senior advisor to the EPA on Great Lakes issues. He said the program is designed to deal with problems that have been around for decades.</p> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;Things like beach closings and swimming bans,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;Things like habitat loss and trying to clean up our toxic hot spots that continue to threaten public health and property values around the region.&rdquo;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Another area that is addressed by the initiative is the prevention and monitoring of invasive species like the Asian Carp. Thom Cmar is an attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council. He says money from the program has already helped build electric barriers to try to keep the fish out of the Great Lakes and surrounding waterways.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>President Obama has called for $350 million for the initiative in 2012, down from $475 million in 2010. But House Republicans have proposed a continuing resolution that would decrease that number to $225 million.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Joel Brammeier is president of the Alliance for the Great Lakes. He said the plan is meant to build year after year, so funding uncertainties can disrupt work on the ground and could lead to increased costs in the long run. That's because many projects are implemented in phases, and if too much time passes before they begin, changes might need to be made to engineering and construction plans.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div></p> Tue, 15 Feb 2011 22:55:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/2012-budget/environmentalists-react-proposed-cuts-great-lakes-clean-program