June 15, 2024

Do Risks of Antibacterial Soap Outweigh the Benefits?

A new study has shown that antibacterial soaps are better at killing Shigella bacteria than soaps that do not contain antibacterials. But do the risks of using antibacterial soaps outweigh the benefits? Each year, about 18,000 Americans are diagnosed with shigellosis, the infection caused by the Shigella bacteria.¬†Symptoms of shigellosis include¬†diarrhea that contains blood of puss, fever, and stomach cramps starting a day or two after exposure. Symptoms generally last about a week and hospitalization is rarely required. For the study, researchers compared two regular soaps with three antibacterial soaps and found that, overall, the antibacterial soaps were better at reducing the level of Shigella bacteria than regular soaps. But the active ingredients in at least of the antibacterial … [Read more...]

FDA Goes Sour on Antibacterial Soaps

The FDA is taking a closer look at antibacterial soaps. Their issue is with ingredients called triclosan and triclocarbon, chemicals that may act as hormone disruptors. And those ingredients don't have any proven health benefit; they don't kill any more bacteria than plain old soap and water. There is no evidence that over the counter antibacterial soaps are more effective at preventing illness than ordinary soap and water. Dr. Colleen Rogers, a lead microbiologist at the FDA said, "new data suggests that the risks associated with long-term, daily use of antibacterial soaps may outweigh the benefits." The soaps may also contribute to the serious problem of antibiotic resistance. The government issued a proposed rule on December 13, 2013 that would require manufacturers to provide … [Read more...]

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