Do You Really Need Antimicrobials In Your Soap?

handwashingiiWith school in full swing and flu season just around the corner, you might be looking for a way to keep those germs at bay. But if you’re stocking up on antibacterial soaps, a study suggests you might as well be reaching for that regular old bar of soap instead.

Korean scientists found that antibacterial soap with the active ingredient triclosan was “no more effective than plain soap at reducing bacterial contamination when used under ‘real-life’ conditions,” according to a study published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy this week.

Yet Brian Sansoni, a spokesman for the trade organization that represents makers of household cleaning products, calls the study “kind of irrelevant.” That’s because Sansoni says companies are increasingly switching to other ingredients in place of triclosan, which has been criticized for potentially causing a variety of health issues, from antibiotic resistance to endocrine disruption.

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