5 Reasons Antibacterial Soap Is Doing More Harm Than Good For You
Nowadays, many people tend to use antibacterial soaps, creams and wipes, which unfortunately, is not that safe as it sounds. Even though both your home and your body can be cleaned with regular soap, the society just can’t accept that. In order to keep the bacteria away, the manufacturers decided to add antibacterial ingredients to almost every cleaning product found on the market. They add antibacterial ingredients to soaps, creams, sponges, lip gloss, household cleaners and even to mattresses.
Even 75% of all liquid soaps and 30% of bar soaps contain antibacterial chemicals. Nevertheless, in this article we will present you 5 reasons why you should re-evaluate the effectiveness of antibacterial products:
- Overuse of antibacterial soaps may breed resistant bacteria.
As we previously mentioned, people are using antibacterial soaps too often and for all the wrong reasons. As a result of overuse of antibacterial soaps and creams, superbugs developed which are resistant to antibiotics thus making a number of highly dangerous bacterial infections harder and harder to treat. This is the reason why the Food and Drug Administration decided to limit the amount of antibiotics that can be used in raising livestock.
In a similar way, the overuse of antibacterial soaps can make some bacteria even stronger. For instance, according to an evidence, the triclosan contained in antibacterial soap helps spread antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The epidemiologist Allison Aiello from the University at Michigan School of Public Health says: “Triclosan has a specific inhibitory target in bacteria similar to some antibiotics.” This means that when bacteria is exposed to triclosan, genetic mutations can arise.
- Soap is just as good, without the side effects.
According to the Food and Drug Administration notes, there is no evidence that people who use products containing triclosan are less likely to develop bacterial infections than those who use regular soap and water.
- Antibacterial soaps don’t kill viruses.
Entrovirus D68, Ebola and flu are dangerous viruses but they are viral and not bacterial. This means that if you won’t use an antibiotic drug to treat viral infections like cold or flu, you shouldn’t depend on antibacterial soap in order to kill a virus.
- Antibacterial soap may harm the environment.
Various waterways, from freshwater to salt, have triclosan. This chemical can disrupt the delicate ecosystem, but it can also convert to a highly toxic compound called dioxin once subjected to sunlight.
Moreover, triclosan combined with chlorine contained in tap water forms chloroform, which is a potential carcinogen.
In addition, triclosan is also considered as highly toxic to certain forms of algae and has been found in high concentrations in earthworms.
- Antibacterial soap may cause other health problems.
According to some studies conducted on animals, triclosan can interfere with the body’s regulation of thyroid hormone, and as a result of that, it can impact fertility and cause obesity, early puberty and many other health problems. Moreover, a recent research claims that long-term exposure to triclosan can cause the development of cancer. In one recent study, triclosan was detected in the urine of 75 percent of people tested. The chemical has also been found in human breast milk.
So, When Should It Be Used?
The only people who really need antibacterial products are people who suffer from a compromised immune system, pregnant women and those who have immunodeficiency diseases.
The rest of us should only use the old-fashioned method which includes washing the hands with warm water and a regular soap. If you do buy antibacterial soap, at least make sure to read the label and ensure it doesn’t contain triclosan.