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Antibacterial Soap. Is it really necessary?

Posted Aug 23 2008 10:19pm

For years I have used antibacterial soap in my bathrooms and kitchen. I thought it was better than using regular soap. I mean who wants germs everywhere? I remember a few years back my in-laws said their plumber told them it was a bad idea to use antibacterial soap since it not only killed bad bacteria but the good kind too. Being naive, I ignored them and continued my use of the germ-a-phobe soaps in my house. That is, until my daughter was born. I started reading about the need to have some germs around to build up your child’s immune system. It got me thinking and I started slowly switching out my favorite Bath and Body Works scented antibacterial soaps. However, silly me purchased a large container of Softsoap and as thrifty as I am, could not throw it away. Now I am finally on my way to antibacterial soap freedom. Just in time for the EWG to send out it’s newsletter on how horrible triclosan is, the main ingredient in antibacterial products.

Triclosan, is an antibacterial pesticide. Yes, you read that right PESTICIDE! It’s in your soap, dishsoap, face wash, toothpaste and even kid’s toys. And of course it’s another one of those lovely chemicals that disrupts hormones, is linked to liver and inhalation toxicity, thyroid disruption and end’s up in breast milk. It’s also toxic to aquatic life since wastewater treatment does not remove all of it. The FDA has deemed it no more effective than regular soap and the American Medical Association does not recommend using any products with triclosan because it can cause resistance to antibiotics.

The EWG’s Guide to Triclosan can help you rid your household of products containing triclosan and also has germ controlling tips.

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