With new flu and bacteria becoming prominent in our culture new methods to control them have also been initiated.
Anti-microbial soaps were brought in as a more effective method of germ control compared to the standard bar or liquid soaps.The new hand cleansers were thought to be a safe alternative but this has come under a strong storm of controversy as of late.
The chemicals that comprise anti-microbial soap are designed to kill germs and bacteria but unfortunately they are also designed to randomly kill biological structures. This means that the human body is also at risk of being attacked by these harmful chemicals. It really has to make you wonder if anti-microbial soaps are better for basic hand hygiene than regular soap.
Perhaps we are Killing a Little More Than Just Germs
The latest research into anti-bacterial soaps is discovering that these cleansers are definitely not a safer alternative to regular bar or liquid soaps. The fact of the matter is that anti-microbial soaps may be more harmful to our health than our traditional soaps.
Rather than just destroying their intended target these cleansers may actually be creating stronger and more resistant bacteria. These soaps may be creating larger problems which are yet to make themselves known.
Anti-microbal soap most often contain one of two active ingredients which they use to kill germs and bacteria: Triclosan which is a biocide or Triclocarbon which is a very similar compound. Triclocarbon is a suspected carcinogenic.
Triclosan comes with some very startling data. Triclosan is a biocide designed to kill any biological substances that it comes in contact with. So lets just mull that fact over for a moment. That is exactly what humans are: A biological substance.
Now that is scary enough information to make a person want to drop the anti-microbal soap right there on the spot but unfortunately there is more bad news to come.
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You Won't Believe Where These Chemicals are Showing up
When researched for human use these chemicals were found to have limited skin absorption properties so it was believed that they would be very minimally harmful to those who used them.
Studies are now indicating that these chemical properties may instead be taking the scenic route into the body.
When the soap is flushed down drains these chemicals make a startling reappearance. They are not only now being discovered in local waters but also in fish that we consume.
You would think that we would know better than to mess with mother nature. What goes into the lowest level of the food chain eventually makes its way back to us.
Anti-Bacterial Soaps Sounded Like a Good Idea at the Time
In trying to combat new bacteria and germs we do need new defense mechanisms. Target specific antibiotics are one line of this but prevention and detection of our enemy is also key to our staying healthy.
Unfortunately sometimes the best of intentions can go wrong and that is what has occurred with the creation of antibacterial soap. It's a product that not only attacks our enemy but also comes back around to potentially cause us serious harm as well.
Another quite frightening discovery are tests which show Triclosan being present in breast milk. This finding makes one ponder what affect this will have on the young children who are being fed this hazardous substance?
Other studies indicate that these chemicals may be contributing to higher levels of resistant antibiotics. Bacteria exposed to Triclosan were found to have an increased resistance to antibiotics. It all adds up to a pretty scary picture.
So are anti-microbial soaps better to use than regular soap? You be the judge. The FDA in the U.S. has recently banned the sale of some of these products. Further Reading: http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm517478.htm
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