Antibacterial Handwash No More Effective Than Plain Soap?
You probably feel your hands are cleaner after you've used antibacterial lotion rather than washing them with regular soap. But new research, published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, suggests that just may not be the case.
Antibacterial soaps are soaps that contain ingredients with active antimicrobial activity, most commonly one known as triclosan. Plain soaps do not contain these ingredients. A research team at Korea University in Seoul focused on triclosan to test the effectiveness of both kinds of soaps.
Researchers examined the two types of soap, antibacterial and plain, and tested them with 20 bacterial strains and through day to day handwashing.
They found that there was no clear difference in bacterial activity when comparing plain and antibacterial soap, despite water temperature differences and longer handwashing times. The team concluded that under “real life” conditions, antibacterial soap containing triclosan was no more effective than plain soap.
This Week's Slice of History: Discovery of Bacteria: Sept. 17, 1683