Anti-bacterial Soap’s Benefits Questioned

GARNER, IA - The product once told could protect from any kind of bacteria may actually be ineffective in the long run.

Triclosan is the chemical found in almost 75 percent of anti-bacterial soaps and cleansers although unfortunately, not only is it not effective, it may lead to other health concerns in the future.

At least one doctor is speaking out about this chemical and says he’s surprised it’s claimed to do so much.

“”80 percent of that stuff is viral. So anti-bacterial agents including antibiotics don’t work against viruses. This agent, Triclosan doesn’t work against viruses so there’s 80 percent that you’re using it for that it’s not ever gonna work against,” said Jerry Nelson MD. of Garner Medical Center.

The anti-bacterial phenomena he believes is based on a fear that may actually prove to be doing more harm than good.

“Maybe some of this stuff is getting down to how do we keep our kids safer, it’s getting down to not buying into the fear that if we don’t kill all the germs our kids are gonna have the problem. If we kill all the germs, out kids are gonna have problems,” said Nelson.

The Food and Drug Administration is also set to weigh in on this issue. The agency will be sending a report soon on whether the chemical is safe for use and at least to one parent, she’s not holding her breath.

“It doesn’t frighten me that much cause I think hand washing is the main thing that we should be doing not just slapping on some anti-bacterial soap or gel or whatever,” said Abby Madsen of Garner.

Abby is a nurse as well as a mother and knows just how important that balance must be for her children especially when it comes to keeping the healthy.

“It takes away the bad bacteria which is good but it also takes away the good bacteria that help prevent infections and keep our immunity up. I would say it’s not a bad thing that it came out which is probably good because people will wash their hands better,” said Madsen.

“Use regular soap. The soap binds with those germs and it also binds with the water. It surrounds the germs and is very effective at just removing the germs in total,” said Nelson.

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