Consumer hand soap is one of the largest consumer restroom products in the industry, and with it comes new products and labels such as “antibacterial” soap. Hand soap is used everywhere from homes, to public spaces, to offices. When purchasing hand soap, do you go for the antibacterial labeled soap in hopes that it will reduce illnesses in your home, or do you go with traditional regular hand soap? Now, get ready for Should you use Antibacterial Soaps.
Should you use Antibacterial Soaps
Triclosan, the active ingredient in antibacterial soaps and many other consumer products, is widely used as an effective agent to reduce, control and kill bacterial contamination, but has been linked to serious health concerns and dangers. Additionally, research has shown that antibacterial soap is not more effective at killing germs and controlling bacteria than regular soap.
A study in 2009 revealed that triclosan usage by children led to the development of allergies, suggesting that children with higher exposure to triclosan are more frequently diagnosed with allergies. Unnecessary exposure to any antibacterial agents can weaken your body’s natural defense system. The absence of childhood exposure to infectious agents, symbiotic microorganisms, and parasites has increased susceptibility to allergies by suppressing the natural development of the immune system. It’s no surprise that more people suffer from allergies than ever before.
A comprehensive analysis from the University of Michigan School of Public Health indicated that plain soaps are just as effective as consumer-grade antibacterial soaps with triclosan, in preventing illness and removing bacteria from the hands.
There are public health concerns as well. Several reports show that triclosan can combine with chlorine in tap water to form chloroform, which the EPA classifies as a probable human carcinogen. Additionally, when antibacterials are washed into city sewer systems and septic tanks, they kill enzymes that eat dangerous bacteria, germs and solid waste matter, which are our front-line defense against harmful contaminants in water systems.
So why do some people prefer using antibacterial soaps in their homes, with the presence of children, animals, and the elderly present? One possible conclusion is the clout surrounding powerful words like antibacterial. Hand washing is an activity centered around removing dirt and germs, and who wouldn’t want to purchase a product with that type of influential word.
Proceed with Caution While Using Antibacterial Soaps
While health concerns of triclosan are still under review by the FDA, many extensive studies all suggest the hazards of using antibacterials. The solution is simple: Don’t expose yourself or your family to the potential dangers lurking in anti-bacterial soaps, when plain soaps can be just as effective at removing bacteria and cleaning your hands. In early 2017, the FDA announced that it would be banning certain antibacterial soaps from market.