Soap Doesn’t Need to be Antibacterial
If you’re like me, being clean is a must. I recall a time in my life when I was obsessed with washing my hands over and over again just to “feel clean.” Many others like me have washed their hands with the ever-popular, ever-powerful antibacterial soap. After all, it being antibacterial seemed to make it more potent. But according to the Food and Drug Administration, it isn’t really more powerful. Some experts say it’s even dangerous.
Soap is Soap
It’s exactly what it sounds like – we’ve been tricked by the soap companies of this world into thinking their more expensive, “more powerful” alternatives are worth the extra money. Hundreds of soaps stocked throughout the past decade have claimed on their labels that they were “antibacterial” – yet they don’t appear to be more efficient than regular kinds in the long run.
Manufacturers can make all the claims they like, but the magical “germ-killing” power isn’t the main factor that saves us. The real power of soap is lathering it up and washing your hands in water thoroughly. This cleans the harmful stuff right off. But antibacterial substances are not only virtually useless in these hand soaps, but they could be dangerous.
The Danger at Hand
According to recent studies, antibacterial soaps may be threatening our society with by turning ordinary bacteria into “superbugs.” These bacteria aren’t from a horror movie; they’re mutated bacteria that are invincible to any treatment we have. Too many of these could spawn, run rampant in society, and cause a wave of disease that would be very hard to fight.
We know already that antibacterial options don’t work much better than their normal counterparts. The threat of these other options being dangerous is another story altogether. If there’s already evidence of these “superbugs” and antibacterial soap isn’t any more useful than regular soap, why is it even on the shelves?!
What Can We Do?
The FDA has already threatened companies to show the worth of antibacterial chemicals. The Association has now announced that soap manufacturers must stop including certain antibacterial chemicals in their products. These chemicals are not only unhelpful in the long run, but they’re also unsafe. This includes a very common antibacterial agent, triclosan.
As it stands, this FDA ruling only stands for what you wash with at home. So far there’s no indication that the bottle of Purell in your pocket is unsafe. (But it is not always a substitute for soap!) Hospital antibacterial variants have also been in use for several decades and also aren’t under this scrutiny. Fortunately, it won’t be long until the dangerous products for the home will be off the shelves.
So why did I write this article?
The bottom line is this: don’t fall for these scams that claim antibacterial alternatives are more effective. Good old soap and water has worked for many years, and it continues to get the job done today.