Tuesday, December 17, 2013
DON'T TRUST YOUR ANTIBACTERIAL SOAP OR LOTION
I have several friends who absolutely trust their antibacterial soap or lotion or gels to make sure their hands are clean before they eat or after touching raw meat or poultry. But the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has now said that such products are no better than ordinary soap and water. And - in addition - could actually harm your health over the long term. Of course the industry disagrees. So who are you going to believe?
Personally, I would believe the FDA. At least they are not making a profit from such products - or, gain anything except even more unpopularity with manufacturers from coming out and saying that the industry has to prove that these substances are both safe and effective.
The problem revolves around chemicals called triclosan or triclocarban. Such chemicals may disrupt the normal development of the reproductive system, affecting puberty and fertility. They may also cause thyroid damage, which in turn can threaten brain development, particularly in children. Research has turned up such effects in animals. The same types of damage could also occur in humans. More studies are ongoing.
To make matters even worse, apparently these chemicals are also used in such products as mouthwash, laundry detergents and baby pacifiers! Yes, baby pacifiers..
If you have ordinary soap and water handy, you may want to stick to these. By the way, you may also want to glance at my old blog post titled " NO MAGIC PROTECTION AGAINST MRSA BACTERIA" which discusses such gels and wipes (posted on 4/24/11).
To your good health,