The Dirty Truth About Antibacterial Soap
When you wash your hands, are you also altering your body’s hormone production, fostering the growth of drug-resistant bacteria, creating carcinogens and polluting wetlands? The answer could be yes if you are washing with an antibacterial soap.
Antibacterial products are skyrocketing in popularity as corporations feed our cultural obsession with cleanliness. Soaps, toothpastes, household cleaners, and even baby toys are commonly infused with a chemical called triclosan. Studies reveal this powerful antimicrobial agent has effects far beyond killing the germs on your hands.
Overuse of these antibacterial products may upset the delicate balance of intestinal bacteria, a key component of the immune system. This imbalance weakens the immune response and boosts the risk of developing allergies and asthma (Emerg Infec Dis 2001;7 S3:512-5).
How can you avoid triclosan and safely protect yourself from germs? Fortunately, a research review of 27 studies proclaims that plain soap is as effective as consumer-grade antibacterial soap for reducing bacteria and preventing disease (Clin Infect Dis 2007;45:S137-47). Dr. Barbara Smith
Chiropractor and Health Educator