Not too long ago, we talked about Tom's of Maine 24 Hour deodorant and its questionable green-ness. I also mentioned there that it was working really well for me. After a few weeks of using it, my husband decided that it wasn't working so well for him, so he came home with a tube of Arm and Hammer Essentials Natural Deodorant.
The other day, I was using some and noticed that it has a pretty strong orange smell. Curious, I turned the tube over and finally read the back. Turns out the orange scent is from orange essential oil (yay!), but that after a long list of essential oils (yay!) was a not-so wonderful ingredient: triclosan (boo!).
What is Triclosan?
Triclosan is an anti-bacterial in many soaps and hand sanitizers that contributes to bacterial resistance and contaminates soil and waterways.
Food and Water Watch has quite a bit to say about this nasty chemical:
Further studies specific to triclosan have shown that it affects reproduction in lab animals, produces toxic chemicals such as dioxin and chloroform when it reacts with other chemicals like the chlorine in water, irritates skin in humans and might even cause cancer. New laboratory studies on rats and frogs show that triclosan can disrupt thyroid hormone, alter development and impair important functions at the cellular level. And a study by British researchers found that triclosan has estrogenic and androgenic hormone properties and exposure could potentially contribute to the development of breast cancer.
Not a very natural ingredient, if you ask me.
Arm and Hammer Natural Deodorant
I get why Arm and Hammer would use triclosan in deodorant - bacteria are the real culprits behind body odor, so adding an anti-bacterial makes the deodorant more effective. What I don't get is how, in good conscience, they can then slap the word "natural" on the front.
My first clue that there was greenwashing afoot should have been the claims on the front of the package. "Aluminum Free! Paraben Free!"
It may as well have said, "Don't turn me over and read what is in this product!"
So, the search for an eco-friendly deodorant that my family can agree on continues. Any suggestions?