The Phaserl


It’s Official: Antibacterial Soap No Better Than Plain Soap At Reducing Bacterial Contamination

from Ready Nutrition:

Scientists in Korea have discovered that using antibacterial soap when hand-washing is no more effective than using plain soap, according to a paper published today in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy.

The study examined the effect of triclosan (the most commonly used active antiseptic ingredient used in soap) on bacteria in two ways.

The first was to examine the bactericidal effects of triclosan in soaps against all 20 strains, and the second compared the ability of antibacterial and non-antibacterial soap to remove bacteria from human hands, by using 16 healthy adult volunteers.

The results of the study indicate that there is no significant difference between the effects of plain soap and antibacterial soap when used under ‘real life’ conditions.

The scientists recreated the conditions of human hand washing by exposing the bacteria for 20 seconds at 22°C (71°F room temperature) and 40°C (104°F warm temperature) to triclosan with a concentration of 0.3% – the maximum allowed by law.

There were significantly great effects after more than nine hours, but not during the short time required for hand washing.

Lead author on the paper, Dr. Rhee, commented that:

advertisement and consumer belief regarding the effectiveness of antibacterial soaps needs to be addressed.

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1 comment to It’s Official: Antibacterial Soap No Better Than Plain Soap At Reducing Bacterial Contamination

  • Ed_B

    Just as a lot of children are being “dumbed down” these days, so too are a lot of products being made less and less effective. DDT was a superb insecticide that was cheap and effective. Poor countries in Asia and Africa could actually afford it and used it to clobber the anopheles mosquito, the carrier of malaria, killer of millions of people. But innuendo, half truths, and outright lies got DDT banned when it never should have been banned. Today, insecticides are rated more for their environmental impact than their efficacy. I suspect that the same is true of these “anti-bacterial” soaps. One can only wonder how this test would have come out had the older hexachlorophene containing soaps been used instead of a newer and much less effective soap.

    But then, there is nothing stopping any of us from making our own anti-bacterial soap, which is what I do. To make up a pint of this, I use 4 table spoons of hand soap, 4 table spoons of 90% isopropanol (rubbing alcohol), and enough warm water to bring bring the volume up to 1 pint. This is swirled slowly until it is thoroughly mixed, which takes about 15-20 seconds. After that, I use it every time I need a disinfecting hand wash. Adding some colloidal silver to this should improve its efficacy and will be used in a subsequent batch. In that case, a dark brown bottle would be good to protect the silver from light.

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