Whatever happened to good, old-fashioned soap and water?
Antibacterial anything has been the rage for years.
Personally I’ve stayed away from antibacterial stuff. It never seemed like it made much sense: soap naturally kills germs. Why do I need yet another chemical IN my soap, IN my life?
Germaphobic parents scarf up bottles of antibacterial soap with the notion that they are forming a protective chain around their children and family.
Triclosan, a common ingredient in most antibacterial soaps, may not be such a hot idea to use consistently. Currently the FDA is taking another look at triclosan. They are considering a mandate that requires manufacturers to prove that soaps containing triclosan are of a benefit.
According to recent studies, this may be a long shot. Reports say that triclosan resistance from continued use of antibacterial soaps is making some bacteria immune to the effects of the supposed antibacterial benefits.
Furthermore, some strains of samonella (Salmonella enterica) have repeatedly tested drug resistant to antibiotics because of repeated exposure to triclosan. As many as 56% of tested human and animal isolates were found to be multi-drug resistant to antibiotics.
The use of antibacterial soaps is compounding the problem of antibiotic resistance. With over-prescribing of antibiotics, plus the use of antibiotic compounds in our meat supply, adding ingredients like increased triclosan use is sending our immune and hormonal systems into a tailspin.
A report in the Oxford Medical Journals states: “Studies have shown that soaps containing triclosan within the range of concentrations commonly used (0.1%–0.45% wt/vol) were no more effective than plain soap at preventing infectious illness symptoms and reducing bacterial levels on the hands. Several laboratory studies demonstrated evidence of triclosan-adapted cross-resistance to antibiotics among different species of bacteria.”
So, Grandma was right! Wash your hands – with plain soap and water!