Antibacterial soap is the name given to any cleaning agent that comprises of antibacterial (in other words, bacteria killing) ingredients. One of the most common ingredients, found in almost all the antibacterial soaps, is Triclosan. Earlier, these soaps were mainly used in hospitals and other clinical health care environments. However, with time, their usage has spread amongst household consumers too. In fact, majority of the soaps in the markets today have antibacterial properties.
Some of the major brands of antibacterial soaps claim that they are clinically proven to kill maximum germs and make the person fall ill less often, as compared to others who use soaps that do not have antibacterial properties. Although antibacterial soaps are very effective in killing bacteria, they have been found to do more harm than good to the human body. Nonetheless, we should also not rule out the benefits of such products as well. In this article, we have provided comprehensive information on the benefits as well as the ill effects of using antibacterial soaps.
Benefits of Antibacterial Soaps
- Hospitals make use of antibacterial soaps, because such products are believed to control the spread of bacteria, thereby reducing the risk of infections. This is the reason why antibacterial soaps can be found everywhere within a hospital’s premises, right from the doctor’s office to the intensive care units to the operation theatres.
- Such soaps help in preventing the spread of bacteria that cause many stomach and other ailments.
- Antibacterial soaps give a person extra protection from different types of harmful bacteria that are known to thrive in household premises.
- Washing hands with such soaps prevents the spread of most of the ailments related to stomach.
- Washing hands with plain soap remove the germs, but not to that extent as it is known to be done by an antibacterial soap.
Dangers of Antibacterial Soaps
- Triclosan, the main ingredient used in antibacterial soaps, has been found to kill not only bacteria, but also human cells.
- Such soaps kill any and every type of bacteria and are not limited to disease-causing bacteria only. Since they kill every susceptible bacterium and remove competition from the ecosystem, they might lead to multiplication of resistant bacteria. The end result will be drug-resistant “superbugs”.
- Antibacterial soaps offer no protection against the most common germs, since they are caused by virus and not bacteria.
- Use of antibacterial soaps might do more harm than good to your baby’s immune system. This is because it has been found that for developing a baby’s immunity, it is very necessary to expose him to germs during the initial years. The children who are not exposed to common bacteria usually end up being more prone to allergies and asthma.
- Over-use of antibacterial agents has been found to be associated with environmental problems also.
- Studies have revealed that the triclosan in such soaps reacts with chlorinated water to produce inappropriately high levels of chloroform, which is a probable human carcinogen.
- Researches have pointed out that too much triclosan can lead to considerable disorder in the endocrine system.