Posts Tagged ‘Antibacterial Soap’

Have We Become A Bunch Of Germophobs???

November 16, 2010

I was walking out of my local grocery store and noticed a man coming in. The first thing he did was to approach the anti-bacterial dispenser just inside of the store, take some in his hand and then wash them with it. I wondered if he repeated this on his way out as well. I’ll bet he did.

What has happened to us? I don’t recall this same behavior 15 or even 10 years ago. Have we become more germophobic due to marketing and the presence of these products placed in front of us? Is there a down side to using them? Or are they perfectly safe?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Nonprescription Drugs Advisory Committee voted unanimously on October 20, 2005 that there was a lack of evidence supporting the benefit of consumer products including handwashes, bodywashes, etc., containing antibacterial additives over similar products not containing antibacterial additives.

There have actually been inquiries lately into whether or not theses antibacterials could be creating resistant bacteria. Reports coming from the Tufts University School of Medicine state that non-residue producing antibacterial agents are not believed to create resistant bacteria. BUT….Resistance results from long term use when residue producing agents such as triclosan and triclocarban are used. A recent survey reported that 76% of liquid soaps contained triclosan and 30% of bar soaps contained triclocarban.

Stuart Levy of Tufts states that unlike traditional cleaners, antibacterial products that leave residue create conditions that may foster the development of resistant bacteria.

Now I don’t believe that using these products occasionally will cause problems but if your cleaning your hands every time you walk into a public place and then when you walk out of it. Then you are probably using these products several other times during the day as well. This is what I question. And it seems that the research supports the idea that we may be doing more harm than good when we are using these antibacterials “excessively”.

Universal precautions used to stop the spread of germs in hospitals are defined as washing your hands with soap and water.

Back to basics.

Next time your son comes home from playing outside and he has a lizard in his pocket, don’t douse him with Purell. Tell him to take a bath.

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