Friday, December 14, 2007

How often do you clean your bath towel?

One day, I was taking with my friends at a cafe, and my friend asked me if I change my bath towel everyday or not. She said that she kept using the same one and just cleaned it once a week because she didn't want to do laundry that frequently, but another friend said that he cleaned every time he used. I had never cared how often I change my bath towel, but I was really curious about that and started to do researches.

Some people might think a bath towel is not dirty at all because you use it after taking shower, and your body suppose to be clean. Obviously not. Bacteria exists basically everywhere as we know. When I search on a database, I found the one article talks about the new bath towel which is anti-bacterial. The U.S. company called WestPoint started to sell the towel that prevent mold, mildew, and the bacteria cause odour from it. According to the article, anti-bacterial industry is growing really rapidly in the States, and it is said that those market is 1 billion US dollar market then. However, the ingredients used in anti-bacterial products is now concerned by some scientists since they might have a potential to harm environment and people's health, and especially most commonly used ingredient called "triclosan" have attention from them. The new anti-bacterial towel also contains triclosan.

Some studies are done by scientists about the effect of triclosan on the environment. For instance, one study showed that triclosan would form chloroform when it react with chlorine in tap water, and chloroform formed from ticlosan could be absorbed through skins. Similarly, another study concluded that the triclosan form dioxin when it is exposed to sunlight. On the other hands, some researchers doubt if triclosan truly inhibit the growth of bacteria, such as odour-causing bacteria or other bacteria that we do not want. I thougt it is really ironic if there are not strong effectiveness of killing bacteria, and the use of triclosan just cause the environmental pollution not the protection of our health from bacteria.

One day in the lecture, we were talking about that too many sterilized products are aroud us and that may lower our immune system.I strongly agree with that opinion because our bodies are already adapted to resist some invasion from outside like virus. I believe it is necessary to pay certain attention, but the extrem attention also may cause another problem too.

Deborah Baldwin. "Germ warfare: Anti-microbial towel newest weapon in household bacteria battle :[National Edition]. " National Post [Don Mills, Ont.] 12 Aug. 2005, A11. Canadian Newsstand Major Dailies. ProQuest. Camosun College Library, Victoria, B.C.. 14 Dec. 2007 (image)

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