The Toxic Waste of Antibacterial Soaps
October 26, 2006
Recent studies indicate that antiseptic ingredients added to soaps are not only ineffective, they may actually be harmful.
A 2005 U.S. FDA panel reported that there is "no added benefit" from using antimicrobial products as opposed to plain soap and water.
In addition, researchers have determined that about 75 percent of a popular antimicrobial, triclocarban (TCC), resists water treatments meant to break it down and ends up in surface water and in municipal sludge used as fertilizer. TCC is known to cause cancer and reproductive problems.
Releasing antimicrobials into the environment in this manner also has the potential to increase the resistance of pathogens to clinical antibiotics. Triclosan, for example, is known to promote the growth of resistant bacteria.
Since the year 2000, about 1,500 new antibacterial products have been marketed to consumers.