Research indicates that most people using antibacterial soaps at home are not reaping their full benefits, mainly because they are using them incorrectly. To learn more about this in detail, read on.
Rolf Halden, director of the Center for Environmental Security at Arizona State University, says that many products containing antimicrobial ingredients, such as triclocarban and triclosan, have been introduced on the market during the last twenty years. Halden says that these products are clothing, toothpastes, soaps, detergents and pacifiers that are widely used on a daily basis. The result is that more and more Americans are exposed to such chemicals and approximately three quarters of them have obvious amounts of triclosan in their urine.
Halden says that antimicrobial products help to eradicate microorganisms in health care centers and hospitals. Also, toothpaste with triclosan aids in the treatment of gingivitis. However, he adds that there is no solid evidence that such antimicrobial products are effective for the average population.
Halden states that the average person does does not benefit from these products due to being unaware of their correct usage. It is important that you wash your hands with antimicrobial soap for at least 20 to 30 seconds in order to kill microbes. However, a survey done in this regard indicates that on average, people use the soap for only six seconds. Furthermore, it was found that microbes are gradually getting used to the chemicals contained in antimicrobial soaps and this is increasing their resistance towards these chemicals. Halden says that studies also suggest that these chemicals affect the hormones in the body.
Halden states that it is essential to control the inclusion of chemicals in antimicrobial products to prevent their careless use. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) declared last year that it may regulate the use of antimicrobial chemicals in personal care products unless manufacturers are able to show that these products are safe to use.
Halden stated in his report that the FDA has taken a sensible step towards maintaining the effectiveness of clinical antibiotics. This will also help prevent the general public from being exposed to hormone-disrupting risky chemicals. Furthermore, it will be an environmentally friendly step since it will reduce the release and deposit of antimicrobials in the environment.
Halden says that rules should be imposed that restrict products containing triclosan and triclocarban to being sold to pharmacies only. Also, there should be a prescription for the sale of toothpaste containing triclosan. These rules can drastically lower the misuse of such products, says Halden.