You are here:Home»Tips & Tricks»Health & Beauty»Health»Are antibacterial soaps creating bacterial resistance? -

Are antibacterial soaps creating bacterial resistance?

User Rating:  / 0

Are antibacterial soaps creating bacterial resistance?

In our quest for antibacterial products, is the bacteria becoming resitant? Everything in our world today is antibiotic, antibacterial and disinfecting, is this a good idea?
Last year, Americans spent about one billion dollars on antibacterial products. Today, a variety of antibacterial products are available, from hand sanitizers, dish detergents, surface cleaner to soaps
Americans are clean freaks. Last year we spent over a billion dollars on products to purge our homes of any germs that might be cohabiting with us on our counter tops, our hands, our toilet bowls, our showers, and even on our food. We all listen to the news and the horror of contracting E.coli or Salmonella from a mishandled burger at our favorite fast food chain is downright scary! Many of us carry a little bottle of antibacterial gel in our pockets and use it frequently. So, here's the good news: These products work. They protect us from, disease-causing bacteria, such as E.coli and Salmonella (the main culprit in stomach ailments caused by food) and Streptococcus (which can cause respiratory, skin, and urinary tract infections) until you touch the next thing with your hands. The definition of an antibacterial agent is that it must kill or inhibit the growth of bacteria that cause disease and odor. In most of these agents you will find the following chemicals: triclosan, ethyl alcohol, and quaternary ammonium compounds.

More Good News
Antibacterial agents are doing the job on 99 percent of the germs! They wreak havoc on certain bacteria, but,(and here comes the bad news -- you knew it was coming, didn't you) they don't touch viruses, and viruses account for a very large part of illnesses. The various products also are limited in the time they actually are effective. It hasn't been proven exactly how long they will work, but as soon as your clean hands touch anything else, you aren't protected anymore. The antibacterial isn't killing all germs your hands are coming in contact with, after the fact. Dish detergents packed with antibacterial properties DON'T prevent the growth of bacteria on dishes, but do protect your hands. Your antibiotic sponge is not providing protection to counter tops, but it is inhibiting the growth of bacteria within the sponge. The sponge is an ideal environment for those nasty germs to breed, so the fact that they cannot live in your sponge makes it worthwhile.
More Bad News
While we are definitely having some success in fighting our household bacteria, some experts are concerned about the long-term problems with the use of these agents. Just as our overuse of oral antibiotics is creating bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics, researchers are worried that we are seeing the development of "super bugs" that are resistant to triclosan. These "super bugs" are immune to disease-fighting efforts.
Another problem investigators note is that by the actual means we are using to create a germ-free environment in our homes, we are reducing the body's own ability to fight the infections.
So Now What?
In the light of "super germs" and "super bugs" and bodies that can't fight off an infection on its own, what are we supposed to do? Are antibacterial products beneficial to us as a society? Health experts believe that they indeed are valuable in places where infectious diseases spread rapidly, such as nursing homes, hospitals, child care centers, and restaurants. People who suffer from diseases that compromise the immune system may also find antibacterial soaps and cleaners more beneficial than traditional cleaners. But by far the most effective tool in reducing the spread of germs by both bacteria and viruses is proper hand washing. Wash your hands with soap and water for 10 to 15 seconds. Using your traditional household cleaners that are labeled as disinfectants and contain either ammonia or bleach, will help to get rid of bacteria AS WELL AS viruses and other household germs. The use of paper towels is even more sanitary than dish cloth or a regular sponge.

And please, be sure to read the directions when you are using an antibacterial product. Many products have very specific directions to be effective in killing germs and bacteria -- an example being a surface cleaner that needs to be left in place for several minutes before it is rinsed off. If you wipe away the agent too soon, the antibacterial action is lost. Just as with taking your full course of antibiotics, you need to be sure to use your soaps and cleaning agents correctly.

Authentic spacesuits, rockets and more up for auction in NYC

Authentic spacesuits, rockets and more up for auction in NYCImagine what your friends will say when they notice your brand new space rocket just chillin' in the corner of your living room. Bonhams in NYC has plenty of items to make your neighbors jealous at its Space History Sale, a collection of 296 items from US and Soviet missions past. The big event celebrates Project Gemini, NASA's first unmanned test flight, which took place on April 8, 1964 (what better way to party than to sell some

...

Barclays reviews investment bank, more cuts expected

Barclays reviews investment bank, more cuts expectedBarclays has launched the third review of its investment bank in as many years, and is likely to cut more jobs and business areas as it battles to improve profitability, people familiar with the matter said. While investment banks across the world are struggling with tougher regulations and low interest rates, Barclays has faced particular problems after its business culture was singled out for criticism by British regulators and it was one of

...

The truth about solar, gold and marijuana

Marketwatch readers are some of the most vocal and inquisitive bunch of investors and traders around. Here are the highlights from my emails with readers of The Cody Word from this week.... Read more...

Cast revealed for show inspired by Tupac songs

Cast revealed for show inspired by Tupac songsNEW YORK (AP) — The upcoming Broadway musical inspired by Tupac Shakur songs will star Saul Williams, the poet and singer best known for the film "Slam."

...

Egypt targets 3-3.4 percent economic growth for 2014/15

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt is targetting between 3 to 3.4 percent growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) next fiscal year, the country's Planning Minister Ashraf al-Arabi said on Saturday. Egypt has undergone more than three years of political and economic turmoil since a popular uprising ousted autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011. The economy grew a... Read more...

HBO's 'Game of Thrones' renewed for 2 more seasons

NEW YORK (AP) — "Game of Thrones" rules....
You are here: Home Tips & Tricks Health & Beauty Health Are antibacterial soaps creating bacterial resistance?