why antibacterial soaps are bad - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 10-17-2007, 04:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Any links, resources, etc? I'd like to bring this to the board of my son's preschool since they use antibacterial handsoap in the bathrooms.
Thanks!

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#2 of 8 Old 10-17-2007, 05:50 PM
 
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Look up these kinds of search words on the internet:

Triclosan
Triclosan health hazards
Superbacteria
Virulent strains AND antibacterial soap
Antibacterial soap hazards

Personal thoughts and just rambling - I wouldn't use antibacterial stuff too often in my own house, if at all, but schools are filled with germy, sick kids and pet snakes, turtles, hamsters, fish and frogs.

It would probably do them some good to get the salmonella off their hands from touching these creatures.
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#3 of 8 Old 10-18-2007, 09:39 AM
 
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I don't have any sources, but here's what I've learned from being a nurse and taking a few microbiology courses:

Hand washing works by mechanics...the soap emulsifies the oil on our hands, the friction of rubbing and the water removes the bacteria and rinsing dumps them down the drain. The tricolsan in antibacterial soap is supposed to actually "kil" the bacteria, which it prob does for some, but IMO the bacteria most likely build resistance to it pretty quick, making it ineffective.

I see the whole antibacterial thing as just a marketing tool for the slightly gemophobic....like my MIL who actually brought the antibacterial tissues!!!!
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#4 of 8 Old 10-18-2007, 11:09 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdm1024 View Post

Hand washing works by mechanics...the soap emulsifies the oil on our hands, the friction of rubbing and the water removes the bacteria and rinsing dumps them down the drain. The tricolsan in antibacterial soap is supposed to actually "kil" the bacteria, which it prob does for some, but IMO the bacteria most likely build resistance to it pretty quick, making it ineffective.
I learned that in micro too I loved that part of my micro class! His idea on vaccines not so much, but I loved learning about the overuse of antibiotics.
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#5 of 8 Old 11-20-2007, 04:29 PM
 
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I loved micro so much --- the prof I had was pretty pro vax, but there were some that she actually didn't like, mainly the varicella one.

however, what I liked most is that it stopped me from being germophobic, and brought me to understand how much we need bacteria and microbes in our life - as long as everything is in the proper balance!
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#6 of 8 Old 11-22-2007, 01:00 PM
 
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The previous posters are right on the money!

The following article was published in this week's Dr. Weil's bulletin about a recent study published in the August 2007, edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases:

Plain Soap as Effective, Less Risky, than Antibacterials
"Antibacterial soaps show no health benefits over plain soaps and may render some antibiotics less effective, according to analysis done at the University of Michigan.

In the first known comprehensive analysis of whether antibacterial soaps work better than plain ones, a UM School of Public Health team found that antibacterial soaps at formulations sold to the public don’t remove any more bacteria from the hands during washing than plain soaps. Also, the main active ingredient in many antibacterial soaps - triclosan - may cause some bacteria to become more resistant to drugs such as amoxicillin, by fostering mutations that help bacteria keep their cellular walls intact. The study was published in the August, 2007, edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases.

I’m very concerned about the thoughtless proliferation of antibacterial soaps, which is essentially a marketing gimmick that does consumers no good and dumps tons of mutation-promoting chemicals into the environment. The current “superbug” news - that MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphlococcus Aureus) infections may be twice as common as previously believed - may prove to be just the beginning of a long siege by antibiotic-resistant infectious agents. If consumers don’t buy antibacterial soaps, manufacturers will stop making them, so remember: Plain soap and water are all you need to stay clean. "

***Personally, I've decided to stop buying those antibacterial soaps and dishwashing liquids. But I will keep a bottle of Purell hand sanitizer in my purse for when I use public restrooms (those places are just too scary and nasty).
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#7 of 8 Old 11-22-2007, 07:55 PM
 
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#8 of 8 Old 11-24-2007, 01:17 AM
 
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