Thanks for your comments, Lois. The garden is yummy. And now that the tomatoes, peppers and eggplants are winding down I have gone into evaluating mode: what worked, what didn't and what to do next year. I will write more about that later.
AlterNet had this article today which sent us to our bathroom to check out our soaps and toothpaste. So far we have found only one product which contains either of the two chemicals the article focuses on. We won't be buying that one again. A couple of points resonate with us. First--evidently the chemicals are not all that effective as anti-bacterial agents but companies incorporating them can claim to have an anti-bacterial product. Our attitude is--if it doesn't work why bother? Parallel to that is the fact that labeling something by a certain name doesn't mean it is really that name. We are getting more and more cautious about accepting any company's claims about it's products. Second--our system for developing products is incredibly narrowly focused. I am absolutely sure that the chemicals were incorporated into various products to give the appearance, if not the reality, of fighting germs. The illusion was more important than the reality. Further, the developers and marketers gave no thought at all to possible adverse effects. Sixty years ago drug companies marketed thalidomide as an answer to severe morning sickness. It did that job quite well. But it also caused severe birth defects and that side effect wasn't recognized until several thousand deformed babies were born. Third--once these chemicals get into our environment it is almost impossible to get them out. Think about the problems of bisphenol-a and plastics.