Soap and Water is effective and safer than Antimicrobials


Some of the most memorable lines from ads come from consumer products. They fill up every available spot on prime time TV keeping their products in our faces. Over time we have internalized their by-lines and that with the conviction that life can only be better with these products.

Scene one, act one:

A child walks into the arms of a caring mother who understands that kids should explore and express the joys of childhood. But there are downsides to this- germs. And the loving mother knows just what is right for the family.

Scene two:

A medical personal in white in a matter-of-fact tone reels out statistics and the benefits of using said product. Giving confidence by mentioning medical agencies and other groups that approve said product.

You, the audience, held spell bound by the advertisement sorcery- sold on the product.

If the warm image of a parent (most cases mothers) just like you looking out of the window to watch over the family doesn’t resonate. The cold facts will get to you.

An FDA report reveals that antibacterial products have no advantage over ordinary soap and water in washing off germs. What’s more, they found out that key agents in making these antibacterial products are harmful to our health.

Triclosan and Triclocarban to be precise.

These agents kill both harmful germs and those useful to the body thereby leaving the body defenceless. They also leads to the emergence of antibiotic resistant bacteria.

And they are in almost every antibacterial product you can think of. (toothpastes, mouthwash, disinfectants e.t.c).

FDA realized the negative effects of these chemicals but didn’t take action to ban them until Mae Wu, a senior attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council filed a suit. The company’s have some time to reformulate their products.

So what now?

Now we know soap and water does just as much as we need in getting rid of harmful germs. FDA points out that manufacturers of said antibacterial products haven’t been able to give scientific proof that any of their products is more effective than soap and water.

But even if you can’t do without antibacterial products (just because…)–read through its contents and make sure it doesn’t have either Triclosan or Triclocarban. At least until the ban takes effect.

Image Credit: PDI Cc

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