Archive for the ‘antibacterial soap’ Tag

Why You And Your Family Should Be Anti-Antibacterial

Take a stroll down your friendly, neighborhood soap aisle these days and you’ll be hard pressed not notice that about 75% of liquid soaps you are likely to encounter will be prominently touting their “antibacterial” formula on their label. It’s not a trend that’s likely to change any time soon, either. The popularity of “antibacterial” additives in dish and hand soap continues to grow. As a result, new types of bactericidal soap and other cleaning products designed specifically to kill bacteria are added to the market on an almost daily basis.

So, why do we suddenly need this hardcore, germ-slaughtering soap?
Because it gets rid of more badness than regular soap, right?
Right?
Well…

Although the price of “antibacterial” soaps tend to run higher than the normal stuff, like many things, that doesn’t mean it’s the best choice. In fact, the special chemical additives found in products that say they’re “antibacterial” don’t do anything normal soap doesn’t do already. Add to that the possible harm that those extra chemicals can cause and you’ve got two really good reasons to go anti-antibacterial.

Soap works by breaking up the bonds that hold water together and then reassembling them around oil molecules, dirt particles, and, yes, even bacteria, trapping them so that they can be easily washed away.

Still not convinced?

Consider these facts:

Triclosan, the most common chemical added to soaps to kill bacteria, must be allowed to work for close to two minutes before it can handle its business. Perhaps your family is a different story, but I have a hard time getting the required 18 seconds of hand washing time out of mine.
Bacteria can develop a resistance to antibacterial agents with frequent exposure. This is the cause of so-called superbugs, which, today, is a hugely underrated threat to our society.

Antibacterial agents are not selective. Even normal, beneficial populations of bacteria that are always present on healthy human bodies are fair game to the chemicals. Good bacteria helps keep our bodies clean and protected against other bacterias that do cause illness.

Sicknesses are often caused by viruses, not bacteria. Antibacterial soaps offer no protection from those organisms.

Simply washing your hands thoroughly with plain soap and very warm water is still one of the best ways to ward off infection.

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