Are Antibacterial Products Good or Bad for Me?
Today you can buy almost anything antibacterial. From hand-soap to toothpaste, and even socks! Antibacterial products are everywhere and people are using them on almost everything. You might think that using these products would be good for your health because it limits your exposure to bad bacteria. Unfortunately, this has not proven to be true. In fact, the harsh chemicals found in these products may be harmful, especially when used over a long period of time.
Antibacterial products contain a chemical called triclosan, a pesticide that kills both good and bad bacteria. Some scientists have recently spoken out against the consistent use of triclosan because its use is creating triclosan-resistant bacteria. In the long run, this is dangerous for people with weak immune systems because they no longer have the protection they need from extremely harmful bacteria.
Another important thing to consider is that when used in dishwashing soap or to wash fruits and veggies, triclosan may be digested regularly as it does not easily wash away with water.
There have been no studies showing that it is safe to consume triclosan; the FDA does not consider it a food ingredient and therefore has not done the testing needed to prove it to be safe. Therefore, we have no idea if internal use, especially over a long period of time, could be seriously detrimental to your health.
The best plan for killing bacteria, on your hands, countertops, or in your socks is good ol’ soap and water. If necessary, hydrogen peroxide or even bleach may be used but bleach should not be used routinely. In this day and age, however, be sure to check the “active ingredient” label of your soaps to make sure it does not contain triclosan because as we know, it is everywhere