Finally, the Food and Drug Administration has taken a stance on that little squirt bottle of brightly colored hand sanitizer in your purse. Their target doesn’t stop there they are looking hard at antibacterial soaps in convenient bottles on every sink. This includes those in schools, restaurants, and homes. The promise they kill every bug. Maybe even the good ones you need to fight off the bad ones you do not want.
For years, epidemiologist’s have had concerns that we are making bacteria’s and viruses stronger simply by over-use of these sanitizers. These neutralizers of illness were not meant to be applied liberally instead of picking up a real bar of soap and washing the dirt off the old fashioned way. This is why we do not use these in our acupuncture office. I don’t use these in my home. There is growing evidence you should not as well.
FDA Says They Don’t Work
According to Colleen Rogers, Ph.D., a leading microbiologist at Food and Drug Administration, there is no evidence that OTC antibacterial soaps work. Consumers use them to reduce the risk of colds and viruses. There is no evidence they work. Ttriclosan and triclocarban the two ingredients in these products, come with many risks especially when used daily, and long-term says Rogers.
These tiny dispenser bottles are available as impulse buys at the check out counters. You can find large refill bottles with color additives of blue, red, and yellow to make them trendy and fun in the soap isle, next to the bars of antibacterial soaps. Just think how many hands touch a public dispenser bottle? Think about how often you wash the outside of the one you care in your purse, car, or diaper bag. The best tool we found in my acupuncture practice in natural cleansers not, antibacterial soaps, and water and the FDA agrees.
Hand Washes For Baby Hands
Many parents use these on small children or infants, their immune systems still forming. Many use antibacterial soaps without knowing. These chemicals mix with the dirt and grime still present on tiny hands, and the with finger food toddlers eagerly push into their tiny slobbery mouths down into their sensitive digestive tracts. Does this sound healthy to you?
These chemicals are in almost every detergent we use. We can find the word; antibacterial ingredient smeared across the labels of laundry detergent, dish soap, and body products. When is it enough or too much? How are babies and adults supposed to build or keep healthy immune systems?
Tighter Rules On Antibacterial Soaps Is A Good Thing
You are the key player when it comes to your health and life choices. Many parents are saying no to unnatural and yes to soaps made to clean dirt and grime made of natural ingredients.
The big issue is no one knows for sure how safe these products are for long-term use. Things like antibacterial soaps may not be safe for anyone.
The FDA has called for changes and more data on the effectiveness or if these products are a waste of money. However waiting on the question of safety is not an option. We know these chemicals are unhealthy for adults and children.
The consumer can change what they purchase by looking for natural products that contain bergamot, lemon, or lavender to help fight bacteria naturally. These are the same ingredients found in your grandmother’s soaps or your great grandmother’s. They are safe for you and your family unlike antibacterial soaps.
The FDA may have this one right; let’s hope they create tighter rules on antibacterial soaps.
SOURCES: Luz Fonacier, M.D., head of the allergy section, Winthrop University Hospital, Mineola, N.Y.; Leonardo Trasande, M.D., associate professor with the Departments of Population Health, Environmental Medicine and Pediatrics, NYU Langone Medical Center, New York City; Dec. 16, 2013, press conference with Sandra Kweder, M.D., deputy director, Office of New Drugs, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, U.S. Food and Drug Administration