Antibacterial Soap May Be Doing More Harm Than Good

Antibacterial Soap May Be Doing More Harm Than Good

Many soaps you'll find at the store are proud to show off "antibacterial" on their labels. And that's a good thing, right? Perhaps not. Research has found that antibacterial soap is no more effective in killing bacteria during hand-washing than "regular" soap. The triclosan in antibacterial soaps and other products may also be harming the environment by seeping into waterways and interfering with algae photosynthesis.

On September 2, 2016, the FDA ruled to ban 19 chemicals used in antibacterial soaps. The organization decided that not only do consumers not need these ingredients, but that they may be dangerous. However, according to the FDA's news release, "This rule does not affect consumer hand 'sanitizers' or wipes, or antibacterial products used in health care settings." Watch the videos below to learn what the chemicals in antibacterial soaps do.

Is Antibacterial Soap Bad For You?

Think before you wash.

How Much Good Is Antibacterial Soap Doing For You?

According to the FDA, not much.

The Dangers Of Most Antibacterial Soaps

Did you know the danger of triclosan?

01:29

Key Facts In This Video

  • 1

    About 75% of liquid antibacterial soaps contain the germ-killing chemical triclosan. (0:10)

  • 2

    One study found that antibacterial soap might be less effective than regular soap and water. (0:32)

  • 3

    The active ingredient in many antibacterial soaps, triclosan, may be detrimental to the environment. (1:18)

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