We were taught at school that you should wash your hands with soap and water to prevent the spread of germs. So it seems logical that washing your hands with antibacterial soap would work better than other soaps at killing these germs. As it turns out, not only is this false, but antibacterial soaps (and hand sanitizers, sponges, and other antibacterial products) can also be dangerous. Here are 6 reasons why.
1. Antibacterial soap can contribute to the formation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria
You may have heard about how overuse of antibiotics is driving the emergence of antibiotic-resistant 'superbugs'. The same can be said of antibacterial products such as soap.
All antibacterial soaps contain germicidal substances, usually chemicals. When bacteria are exposed to these substances or chemicals, they can undergo genetic mutations. These mutations not only protect them from the antibacterial product you are taking, but can also make it more difficult to kill them with antibiotics.
2. Antibacterial Soaps May Deregulate Hormones
Animal studies found that antibacterial ingredients altered hormones in rats, triggering an estrogenic effect. Now animal studies are not always indicative of what will happen to humans, but it is recommended to avoid the risks and use regular soap instead. There are concerns that these ingredients may contribute to infertility, artificially advanced early puberty, obesity and cancer.
3. Antibacterial Soap Can Reduce Muscle Function
The list of risks of antibacterial ingredients goes on! One study found that these ingredients "impede human muscle contractions at the cellular level and impair normal muscle function in both fish and mice." During the study, the researchers didn't even expose cells to super high doses. They used levels of antibacterial ingredients similar to what we experience every day.
4. Antibacterial soap increases the risk of allergies
There are many theories as to why allergies are on the rise and one of them is that the overly hygienic environment we live in impairs the development of our immune system. Several studies support this theory. It was also discovered that ingredients commonly found in antibacterial products can lead to food allergies.
5. Antibacterial soap is bad for the environment
If you wash your hands with antibacterial soap, it won't just disappear down the drain. It ends up in our environment and can have disastrous consequences. The antibacterial chemicals in soap are not completely removed by wastewater treatment plants. The chemicals end up in sludge, which is then used on agricultural land and can contaminate surface water. If these get into the food and water systems, they can lead to health problems because we ingest them
6. Antibacterial soap is no more effective than regular soap
In addition, antibacterial soap is no better at preventing disease than regular soap. This shouldn't be so surprising, since most diseases are caused by viruses and not bacteria, so antibacterial soap is not effective!
So why are big manufacturers still making it? Simply because the ingredients are cheap.
We want to protect those we love, right? Of course we do and that's why we always want to do the best. No, I didn't always know what I know now. This information comes from studies done over many years by many doctors and institutions. And they advise that a simple hand wash with natural soap should suffice. The water does not need to be hot and it is best to scrub with soap for about 30 seconds to get a good clean.
And of course the best to use a pure natural soap like we make it.