Do you need Antibacterial Soap?

by Ken Buckley on 28-10-2016


Hands image.jpg

Its a question that gets asked a lot. What about at schools and  for children, surely you should be using an antibacterial soap, shouldn't you?

After all, what with all the things going around in schools these days, wouldn't it reduce the amount of absence if everyone used this type of soap?

   Why so many use Antibac Soap:

The problem with these questions is, that we often think "belt and braces" when thinking about such things. We think if we go OTT, then at least we can't be accused of negligence.

And so you find that many schools, nurseries and offices end up using Antibac soap in the washrooms. Indeed at home many mums use Carex or similar because it says antibac on the tin and they think they are doing the best thing for their kids.

Like a lot of what we do, this common sense approach is not based on any empirical data.


    What research tell us

There have been lots of independent studies around this question and they have shown overwhelmingly that most antibacterial soaps were no more effect than plain soap at preventing the spread of infection and reducing bacteria levels on your hands.

Indeed in September 2016 the FDA (U.S. Food & Drug Administration) published "Antibacterial Soap? You can skip it -- Use plain soap and water". Their recommendation is to "Wash your hands with plain soap and water"


   Health concerns with Triclosan

Triclosan is an ingredient in many Antibac soaps and there is concern that it could be causing long term harmful side effects.

It is also thought that triclosan may be helping make bacteria resistant to antibiotics.



With the concerns over some of the ingredients of antibac soap and the countless research findings that it is no better than normal soap, we must come to the conclusion that we don't need it.

Normal soap, it seems, is safer, just as effective and generally costs less.


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