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Antibacterial Soap: Myth or Fact?

Tuesday, March 7, 2017 8:00
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A blog about healthcare, health products and treatments.

Most people think soaps and body washes that are labeled as antibacterial are safer to use and decrease their chances of getting infected with germs or sicknesses.  However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports that there is no sound evidence to this day that supports the claim that over-the-counter (OTC) antibacterial soaps are better at germ spreading and illness prevention than any other soap and body wash products. Also, there is a concern that antibacterial products may not be as beneficial as once thought if used for prolonged periods of time.

In 2013 the FDA had meetings and conducted extensive research on the effectiveness and safety of antibacterial soaps. The ruling from this study requires manufacturers, consumers and others to provide feedback on whether these products should be continued. To date, not much data has been gathered concerning this issue. Now, the FDA proposes a final ruling that OTC cosmetic wash products (i.e., liquid, foam, bar soaps, gel hand soaps and body washes) that have Triclocarban and Triclosan as a primary active ingredient will be discontinued on the market.

The reason behind this ruling deals with the fact that manufacturers haven’t cooperated in proving these ingredients are safe for prolonged daily use. Also, the manufacturers demonstrated how these products prove to be any more effective or beneficial than plain soap and water in being antibacterial. There are some companies that are already taking triclocarban and triclosan out their products.

What Makes Soap ‘Antibacterial’

Antibacterial soaps (also known as antiseptic or antimicrobial soaps) contain certain chemicals that you won’t find in regular soap. These chemicals are supposed to reduce the spread of harmful bacteria and infections when people use these products.

Many scholars and environmentalists are concerned about the safety of several antibacterial liquid soap products that have triclosan. Animal studies suggests that triclosan changes the way the body’s hormones behave, which poses a concern about how this hormonal change may adversely affect humans. Because of limited research in this area, little is known about the extent of influence triclosan has on the human body.

Because of the lack of concrete evidence of the safety and efficacy of these products, manufacturers may be fostering false hope about the purpose of these products to ward off germs and illnesses.  If your choice in these antibacterial products is for the feel, then save your family potential harm by using similar and safer products that feel the same way and don’t have triclocarban and triclosan. If you are using these products for the antibacterial quality, there is no evidence to assure you that you are not wasting your time using them.  Because of these uncertainties, a few manufacturers have revised their products and eliminated antibacterial agents.

Triclosan and Health Concerns

Triclosan is also found in furniture, toys, clothes, and kitchen utensils with the purpose of preventing bacterial infections. Because of that, there is an even greater concern about human exposure to this chemical.

Filed under: Healthcare docs & tips Tagged: antibacterial products, Antibacterial soap, Antibacterial Soap Fact, Antibacterial Soap Myth, triclocarban, triclosan

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