I remember during my last trip to the supermarket, I was enticed to replace my organic hand soap with this antibacterial soap. Why? My colleagues at work seem to be getting down with the flu and I was trying to raise my immune system.
Thankfully, I did my own research before I purchased and turns out, antibacterial soaps do more harm than good. In fact, the FDA wants the manufacturers of these antibacterial products to show evidence that they help decrease your risk for infection transmission in three years time, otherwise they’re off the market.
For something that has been on the market for quite some time, its quite bothersome to think that antibacterial soap isn’t FDA approved. And here are the reasons why:
Good old soap and water – still the best way to go.
Apparently, the most active ingredient in antibacterial soap, triclosan, doesn’t have health benefits that the FDA saw over using plain soap and water.
It’s true that when you wash with an antibacterial soap, you reduce the number of bacteria on your hands. But what isn’t true is that reducing the number of bacteria doesn’t lead to a lesser risk for infection or disease transmission. So what’s the point of using antibacterials?
This is probably what the scientists fear the most. That bacteria have developed resistance against any antibiotics out in the market. And why is this possibly happening? Because for each time you use antibacterial soap, there is a percentage of bacteria that still lives. And those who live are able to develop some resistance and multiply. And before we know it, no antibiotics can get rid of this superstrain of bacteria.
Triclosan is not our friend.
While it’s true that triclosan is used in the hospital setting, it’s use for over-the-counter things aren’t regulated. Studies show that triclosan resembles a thyroid hormone that when it entered the bloodstream of some animals, triclosan got bound to the thyroid receptors. No studies are done on humans yet but if this is also happening to us, it can cause infertility and cancer, to name a few.
Triclosan also doesn’t like us back.
Children who were exposed to triclosan were seen to be more susceptible to hay fever and allergic reactions to peanuts. Scientists are saying it’s because the reduction of bacterial exposure of these children may have indeed lowered their immune system.
Triclosan is not environment-friendly.
The majority of triclosan used when we wash our hands goes into the sewage and the filtering and chemicals aren’t enough to stop them from flowing into our oceans and rivers. Once there, they stop algae from undergoing photosynthesis and voila! Lesser algae present.
Some animals such as bottleneck dolphins were also found to have consumed triclosan, though it’s effect is still not known.
These are just some of the reasons why you should ditch your antibacterial soaps and all things that have triclosan in it. Here is a video showing that that the FDA has started its war against these antibacterials:
So what’s your verdict?