The FDA just came out with a statement that anti-bacterial hand soaps may actually be bad for you. Apparently they haven’t been prove to be any more effective than plain soap and water and may actually be bad for you in the long term. Some active ingredient by the name of triclosan evidently alters hormones and makes bacteria more resistant.
Johns Hopkins Internal Medicine just came out with a statement that vitamins don’t have any proven benefits and taking them may actually cause long term harms if you take too much of certain vitamins such as A. The study was done over twelve years, following two groups of 60 year old men, one who took vitamins and one who did not.
Kind of embarrassing, huh? My question is: how did these things become so prevalent in our society without first being proven to produce desirable results? I mean vitamins, okay, maybe in some initial testing they were thought to have positive effects. But anti-bacterial hand soaps? I’m pretty sure some companies just started marketing them and people started buying them and then people kept buying them because other people kept buying them. I mean my apartment is full of anti-bacterial hand soaps; Iced Gingerbread in the bathroom and Vanilla Bean Noel in the kitchen. Four for $15 at Bath and Body Works. Smell great, but apparently contribute to super bacteria.
But this is actually more than a rant about soap. Even when we apply this kind of herd mentality to soaps and vitamins we can create unforeseen consequences, but imagine when we approach our relationships the same way. And we do.
Rather than testing what works and doing that, we use whatever tools are most readily available and widespread in our society. Anger? Hasn’t ever worked for me, but my parents used it, my parents’ parents used it, and so do the neighbors. Must mean it’s alright. Whining? Well, the in-laws do it, the kids do it (never mind that the kids learned it from us), and so do the co-workers.
There’s an ocean of poor justifications for poor decisions if we want them. But how about we just figure out what works and stick with that?