Antibacterial Soap

Hasn't it always been obvious that using things like antibacterial soaps and wipes is potentially dangerous? At last someone important (The US Food and Drug Administration) is calling for a safety review.   Reporting that

"Recent studies indicate an ingredient in such products could scramble hormone levels and boost drug-proof bacteria."

I hadn't anticipated hormonal effects, but surely we already knew how viruses and bacteria are becoming increasingly drug resistant (often because of overuse /improper use of antibiotics). So how have they been allowed to market these antibacterial products for such unimportant unnecessary tasks as routinely washing your hands or cleaning your worktops?  Inexplicable.

I've never once bought one of these products... but unfortunately, the people who do use them are helping bacteria to evolve... which is then a greater danger to my family. 

Should they be banned immediately?


  • I thought this was about Antibacterial Soup......

  • They won't be banned immediately - as the article says, there needs to further study before they decide one way or the other.


  • Flat Footed wrote (see)

    I thought this was about Antibacterial Soup......

    I read that too image

  • Should have gone to specsavers image


    I'd be interested to know if others take the same anti anti view as me.

  • nope

  • The question is that do I want to do what is best for the human race in the long term and die at 30 or still be here for another 40 years?. Oh Selfish me!

  • Why stop there? Just don't ever wash, or practice any sort of personal hygeine, and we'll soon be back to the good old days when there was no Typhoid, no Polio, no Rickets, no Measles, people lived to their nineties and infant mortality was unheard of. 


  • Seems with people like you lot around, we're doomed!

  • Sooner or later all the vaccinations will fail and antibiotics will fail and we will end up back at square one. The population will drop and we may live to a ripe old age of 30 if we are lucky enough to survive childhood. Probably all be for the best. Merry Christmasimage

  • For millions and millions of years, the war between microbe and mammal has ebbed and flowed, with a certain degree of equilibrium.  For the last hundred years (the blink of an eye), we've strongly had the upper hand.  But having thought about it, I think we should think about renaming these products as : "Pro" bacterial soaps....   and probiotic medicines.

    This is because the profligate and indiscriminate use of these products, just fuels the evolution of microbes - we might be winning the current battle, but we are in danger of recklessly helping them win the war.

  • "Probiotic" already means something different  - it's the actual addition of good bacteria. The jury's still out on whether there is any real benefit though.

  • Bleach

  • Who wants to be alive in their 90's????  The way things are going, we'll all be still working by that age, or dead from working too hard?!?!?!

  • NessieNessie ✭✭✭

    I can understand the problems that antibiotics cause in making viruses resistant, but I don't get how me using Dettol* on my worktops to get rid of the salmonella from the Christmas Turkey will lead to the end of the world as we know it.


    *Other disinfectants are available........

  • The linked story seems to be concerned with a particular ingredient - triclosan. My understanding is that there's no evidence that it's better than regular soap, and (fairly weak) evidence that it could be harmful. I think that particular ingredient should be restricted to over the counter and prescription products until there's more evidence on it's safety and effectiveness.

    I wouldn't support a more general ban on antibacterial soaps. I've been using anti-bacterial soap (Wright's Coal Tar* Soap) for a couple of weeks as I've had folliculitis. I don't think I should need a prescription to get anti-bacterial soap, my GP probably has better things to do with his time.

    * now contains tea-tree oil instead of Coal Tar, 'cos Coal Tar is carcinogenic.

  • Nessie wrote (see)

     but I don't get how me using Dettol* on my worktops to get rid of the salmonella from the Christmas Turkey will lead to the end of the world as we know it.



    This is pretty much exactly the point.

    It's a fair option to kill off salmonella with Dettol.  But let's hope that in 20 years time, the millions of people, pointlessly doing billions of routine 'antibacterial' hand washes, hasn't driven the salmonella to become dettol resistant.. I'd assume that many other disinfectants wouldn't fair any better, if that were the case.

    We need to reserve disinfectants for when they're important. We need to reserve antibacterial soaps for when we've been handling raw chicken... or perhaps have folliculitis.

  • Loads of skankers...err I mean people, never wash their hands anyway (even when they have been to the toilet image), so maybe this will balance things out? image Strangers to a bar of soap some folk.

    I saw a horrid story of a young child who contracted e.coli from his nursery because the staff were not regularly washing their hands. He is now permanently disabled. Would not wish that on anybody.

    Loads of alternatives - tea tree as said above, alcohol gels they use in hospitals (that don't use these chemicals mentioned in the report). This is a typical media scaremongering story, designed to make everyone PANIC!

    If I've been on my allotment handling horse manure or compost, then yes I will wash my hands with anti-bac before I make my dinner, thanks image. The rest of the time I will just use ordinary soap.

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