Do we need antibacterial products?

Antibacterial – Do We Need It?

Looking at the products in the market today, we tend to see antibacterial products everywhere. Antibacterial hand soap, antibacterial cleaning agent, antibacterial body wash and the list goes on. But the question is, do we need it?

What is Antibacterial?

Antibacterial products are products that contain additional bacteria-killing chemicals such as Triclosan. It is most commonly used as agents to disinfect surfaces and eliminate potentially harmful bacteria. In 1997, FDA reviewed extensive effectiveness data on triclosan in a toothpaste. The evidence showed that triclosan in that product was effective in preventing gingivitis. Antibacterial products are also mainly used in hospitals where patients’ immune systems are weak.

Effects of Antibacterial Products

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued the final rule to finalise the ban on 19 listed consumer antiseptic wash active ingredients used in antibacterial soaps. Companies will have a year to remove the ingredients or remove the product from the shelves. The ban was mainly because there’s no data demonstrating that over-the-counter antibacterial soaps are better at preventing illness than washing with plain soap and water. There is also some evidence that triclosan, triclocarban and the other chemicals can disrupt hormone cycles and cause muscle weakness. The bacteria-killing chemicals can contribute to making bacteria resistant to antibiotics, the chemicals also emit distinct smell which could be a source of indoor air pollution. This affects the indoor air quality and increase the chance of falling ill.

Normal Soaps Are Just As Effective

Since there is no need for antibacterial, the best way is to use normal soap and water. It washes off germs as effectively and keep us away from those chemicals. Following simple handwashing practices is still one of the most effective ways to prevent spreading of germs and illness.

Indoor Air Quality

Limiting the usage of antibacterial products will reduce the exposure to air with chemical smell. The Indoor Air Quality Specialists have observed the correlation between use of anti-bacterial cleaning agents and an increase in particulate matter. Call Purlife at 6702 0306 for a complimentary air quality check.

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