The Truth on Disinfecting Wipes

Elizabeth Kepl, ESLLC 2015-2016

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Disinfecting wipes are a luxury that we take advantage of every day. They are low cost, easy to find, appealing, and most have a nice smelling fragrance. Most households use these wipes on an everyday basis and never think twice about it. They clean up messes and kill germs and fight off sickness in the house. This is not entirely true.

Disinfectant wipes are a disguised pollutant. They seem like they are harmless and help the people who use them to fulfil their cleaning purpose, but, not to many people’s knowledge, these wipes are all plastic. They cannot decompose and they will not go away. They unnecessarily load up landfills and create more waste on our earth and clog up the sewer systems. Another sad truth that we can’t see are these wipes kill animals. From the ocean to land roaming creatures, these animal eat these wipes and die from either choking or not digesting properly. Plus the chemicals left on the wipes will make the animal sick.

Noting that the chemicals make animals sick, how does this relate to us, since we are all an animal species? These chemicals are so toxic to our health. Cleaning will remove germs from a surface but disinfecting kills these germs. But isn’t this the goal? It shouldn’t be. Most of the chemicals on these wipes are antimicrobial pesticides such as quaternary ammonium compounds. Using these types of disinfectants can cause bacteria to evolve and create a new species that could be harmful. These kinds of pesticides can trigger asthma, allergies and many other health concerns to our bodies. The EPA and regulatory body might approve these chemicals, but that does not mean they aren’t harmful to our bodies. Another factor, especially for kids, is that germs help strengthen our immune system. If we kill all the germs around us, how will our immune system be able to function? We need germs to build up our immune system and cutting them out of our life ultimately harms us and others in our environment, including the environment.

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