Antibacterial isn’t always Better

As an article in Science Daily highlights,( antibiotic soap is no better than the plain stuff. A study by the University of Michigan School of Public Health found that antibiotic soaps weren’t any better at preventing infectious diseases than regular soap that does not contain any antibiotics, such as the commonly used ingredient, Triclosan. Not only can triclosan confer antibiotic resistance to bacteria (who may go on to become untreatable hospital pathogens) but it also becomes a common waste product in rivers and oceans, where it is converted by sunlight into four forms of dioxins. While there is only one dioxin which merits any toxic concern for it’s ability to poison humans, this shouldn’t be taken lightly. Triclosan has been known to control bacteria in the mouth better than fluoride, so it has shown up in many brands of toothpaste, in addition to a slough of other cleaning products. This is the decades old war we have raged with ourselves…should we try to have less cavities or create hospital pathogens? Should our vanity be assuaged at the expense of the environment we live in?



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