Most soaps are antibacterial. It takes awhile for me to look through all the products to find one that is simply soap. It amazes me that in the past few years everything seems to be antibacterial. My question is why?
You do not need an antibacterial soap to kill germs. Regular soap will do. It’s not about the contents of the soap that kills germs, it’s the friction of the motion of the scrubbing, that kills germs. That’s a fact. As a nurse, handwashing is the first thing we learned. Friction, friction, friction!
Associate professor Rolf Halden, of the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University has been studying the effect of triclosan and triclocarban –antibacterial chemicals found in soaps, cosmetics, toys, plastics and clothing – on human health and the environment. According to Halden who is a biologist and engineer, the chemicals are unsafe for humans and the environment, and their use could have dire consequences. Halden also says they don’t work, as does the FDA, yet antibacterial products remain a billion dollar a year industry.
Both of the chemicals are widely incorporated into everyday products ranging from soap, toothbrushes, acne products, and deodorant, shaving gel and “natural” cosmetics. According to Harden, triclosan is a potent germ killer that made its debut in commercial hand soaps in the 1980’s. Since 2004, levels of triclosan in humans have increased by an average of 50 percent per estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and are showing up in 97 percent of women’s breast milk. The problem is they have been strongly linked to birth defects, weakened immunity and even cancer.
According to Halden, “The culture of fear leads people to make impulsive decisions and buy a lot of antimicrobial products that are not really needed. It’s a profitable market to be in, but not one that is ultimately sustainable or a good idea.”
So while your out shopping for the holidays, think about the pros and cons of antibacterial products. It’s your choice. It’s your life…..
For more information on antibacterial products here in Palm Beach, The Palm Beach Health Department has all the info you need to stay safe. They also do not recommend antibacterial soaps. Follow the link: http://www.pbchd.com/prevention_pointers/stop_and_wash_your_hands.html
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