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The U.S. FDA orders antibacterials removed from consumer soaps. Do antibacterial soaps help fight germs?

  • yes they do

    The antibacterial soaps help fight germs maybe a little too well. The problem is if we remove all bacteria from our body including the normal host flora which is there to fight off infection for us, then our existence becomes threatened. Bacteria resistant to medication are now flourishing because they are masters at adaptation. It may then be a better idea to wash hands off without going out of our way to kill the bacteria that we need.

  • Yes, the help when used properly.

    Antibacterial soaps, while useful, are part of a bacterial-resistance nightmare that public health professionals continue to deal with. Much like antibiotics, the overuse of antibacterial soaps has limited their effectiveness and, to an extent, made them detrimental to the health of some users. The FDA's decision is likely the best in the long term.

  • No, they just help evolution of worse germs.

    No, antibacterial soaps do not help fight the spread of germs. Antibacterials often claim that they eradicate 99.9% of bacteria. That sounds good, but what it means is that the soap fails to eradicate that 0.1% of bacteria that is antibacterial-resistant. Because the antibacterial soap eliminates other non-resistant strains, when you catch an infection from germs, you are now more likely to catch an infection that resists medical treatment because only the "stronger" germs remain. Over time, with millions of people using antibacterials, germs evolve to become even deadlier and more resistant, creating further health problems.

  • Soap and water are enough to keep clean

    I was always taught that soap and water and a good scrubbing are enough to get rid of the germs. When I was little, we didn't have antibacterial soap or any other product. We drank from hoses, we walked barefooted through the cow pasture, we inhaled second hand smoke from our parents in cars with the windows rolled up, we rode in cars with no seat belts and we were also taught how to wash our hands. While I'm sure antibacterial soaps do what they are intended to do, if it's bad for us in the long run, and we can get clean without them, it seems a little unnecessary.


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