DEC 01, 2016 03:28 PM PST

Why Germaphobes Should Forgo Antibacterial Soaps

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham
2 10 1077

Every season, the Bath and Body Works giant shills out new scents of their famous antibacterial soaps - guaranteed to "keep hands clean and eliminate up to 99.9% of germs." But while consumers are stockpiling these bottles, health experts say the antibacterial soaps are not doing us good. In fact, these soaps could actually be giving superbugs the edge.

The problem is that antibacterial soaps are, counterintuitively, giving bacteria a means to become drug resistant. A large percentage of soaps contain the active ingredient triclosan, which is a potent antibacterial and antifungal. But while it's been used in hospitals for decades, persistent and overuse of this chemical can allow new subpopulations of bacteria to evolve with higher resistance.

As such, the FDA recently banned the use of this chemical, along with another 17, in soaps and body washes. The FDA reasoned that plain ol' soap and water is just as efficient, and doesn't pose the risk of promoting the rise of superbugs.
About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
You May Also Like
JUL 22, 2018
Videos
JUL 22, 2018
Goodbye to Louisiana
One-fourth of Louisiana’s coastline has already disappeared since just the 1930s. Every hour, Louisiana loses about a football field of land to the s
JUL 23, 2018
Videos
JUL 23, 2018
This is Your Brain on Yoga
Yoga is a great way to keep muscles strong, joints flexible and stress levels low.Many studies tout the benefits of yoga for relieving pain, improving rang
JUL 24, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
JUL 24, 2018
What is UV Photography?
Human eyes see visible light, whose wavelength ranges between 400 and 750 nanometers (nm). To visualize anything lower than 400 nm, one can resort
JUL 27, 2018
Videos
JUL 27, 2018
Ever Wonder Why the Moon Turns Red During A Lunar Eclipse?
Lunar eclipses can be fun to observe, but have you ever wondered why the Moon turns red during the event? As it turns out, this red Moon phenomenon, also k
AUG 09, 2018
Videos
AUG 09, 2018
Can You Drink Too Much Water?
Especially during a long hot summer, staying hydrated is essential. Dehydration can have severe consequences in children, the elderly and those with immune
AUG 10, 2018
Videos
AUG 10, 2018
Why Cuttlefish are Called Chameleons of the Sea
Did you know that cuttlefish can change color, texture, and shape? Did you know they contain a bone called the cuttlebone? There is a reason why they are c
Loading Comments...