SUPER_BUGS.jpgThe Dangers of Antibacterial Soap

Triclosan is the active ingredient used in antibacterial soaps. It is both an antibacterial and anti fungal biocide. Although thousands of products contain Triclosan, according to the Food and Drug Administration there isn’t any direct evidence that it provides an extra benefit to our health beyond its anti-gingivitis effect in toothpaste. The Environmental Protection Agency, however, found Triclosan to be a serious biocide. Currently the safety of Triclosan safety is under review by the FDA.

Triclosan began being put into consumer products in 1972. It is put into: soaps, deodorants, toothpastes, mouthwashes, and cleaning supplies as an antibacterial agent. Increasingly it is infused in a growing increasing number of consumer products during the manufacturing process. Products such as utensils, playthings, mattresses, footwear, and sanitation bags can contain Triclosan without your knowledge. Triclosan is very effective in eliminating bacterial contamination on the body and on treated products. Therefore possibility of de colonizing the skin’s healthy skin flora— the beneficial bacteria that supports our natural immunities— exists.

Concerns of Antibacterial Resistance

Since 1998 there has been a number of published articles  warning that over using Triclosan could cause resistant strains of bacteria to develop. The process works the same way that antibiotic-resistant bacteria are developed. In 2003, some European supermarkets and retailers began phasing out products containing Triclosan 2003.

It is true, that the earlier studies of Triclosan could not predict that bacterial resistance for this biocide. However it can now be shown that Triclosan does reduce species diversity,  and this degrading of the biological ecosystem can rearrange the natural competitive system. The major concern over developing antibacterial resistant strains is not that they will mutate  over the short term. The real concern is that super bugs will emerge whereby no bactericide can be used.