Antibacterial Soap vs. Regular: And the Winner Is?

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Natural health proponents have long debated the merits of antibacterial soaps versus plain old soap and water. Now there are studies showing that grandma was right all along! Check out this recent news story.

You may think that antibacterial soaps are better because they are supposed to kill more germs, but this isn’t necessarily true. In fact, antibacterial soaps may pose dangerous health issues (such as antibiotic resistance), without being any more effective than regular soap.

In fact, the FDA is considering new regulations requiring antibacterial soap manufacturers to prove the effectiveness of their products, or else remove the antibacterial ingredient triclosan entirely.

Check out the research here:

Lab tests conducted by a team of Korean researchers revealed that when bacteria are exposed to the standard over-the-counter antibacterial ingredient known as triclosan for hours at a time, the antiseptic formulation is a more potent killer than plain soap.

The problem: People wash their hands for a matter of seconds, not hours. And in real-world tests, the research team found no evidence to suggest that normal hand-washing with antibacterial soap does any more to clean the hands than plain soap.


Triclosan is the antibacterial component of liquid soap. In bar formulations, it’s triclocarban, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. These ingredients have been somewhat controversial. Some contend there is no scientific evidence to back up claims that these products are more effective than regular soap. Others have argued that these ingredients aren’t safe.

…There isn’t any proof that triclosan is unsafe, the FDA said. However, the FDA cautioned that animal studies have raised concerns that the antiseptic may interfere with normal hormonal regulation, or may contribute to antibiotic resistance.

To address both issues, in 2013 the FDA proposed passage of a new rule that would — as of 2016 — require soap manufacturers to provide more solid safety and effectiveness research to back up all antibacterial claims related to triclosan. If the rule is ultimately approved, failure to provide such evidence would result in either the relabeling of triclosan soap packaging to remove all antibacterial claims, or the removal of triclosan.


Check out the full article at USNews.com


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