What is antibacterial soap & is it good or bad for you?March 7, 2014
By now most people will have heard the gloomy stories of our reliance on antibiotics and how it can create drug-resistant super bugs. Now there is new research which suggests that the same might be happening with antibacterial soaps and gels.
Experts in America have said that the use of antibacterial soap agents like Triclosan and Triclocarban could be doing us more harm than good. By using these agents so frequently – they’re found in all manner of soaps and gels now – we could actually be washing away good bacteria which help to fend off the bad bacteria. The FDA in the states has now told companies who produce these products to prove that they are better than soap and water or pull the product from the shelves.
This is because most people, having seen antibacterial products in hospitals, believe that these products offer more protection in their homes for their families. Yet in the entire time the products have been on the market there has been no evidence to support this belief, and in fact, we could simply be helping the germs to spread and build immunity against antibacterial agents.
There are even fears that these products could disrupt the ecology of our natural bodies of water. By washing down a small amount of the antibacterial products every day it is sticking around and could impact the ability of algae to photosynthesise. The alternative is to use alcohol gels to kills germs or to revert back to soap and water since it has never been proven that antibacterial gels work any better.
On top of all this news about antibacterial gels it has also been revealed that scientists have, for quite some time now, been warning that these products can interrupt with hormones in the body which can be dangerous, especially for children.
The one thing which is certain in all this is that these products will now face stricter requirements when it comes to the advertising, labelling and sale of these items. They will no longer be able to present the products as virus killers and may have to be more open about the limitations of the products.
The changes are a way off yet though, with health regulations based on clinical trials carried out this year not set to be finalised until 2016 for the USA. For now healthcare organisations will continue to use the products.
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