Most people use antibacterial soap incorrectly
We're using antibacterial soaps much more often these days. But it may not be doing much good because, according to a study at Arizona State University, most people aren't using these soaps correctly. In fact, concludes the research published in Environmental Science & Technology, the increased use of the soaps may help microbes become more resistant to antibiotics.
Antibacterial products contain the ingredients triclosan and triclocarban. The researchers noted that more than 2,000 products now have these ingredients, including soaps, detergents, clothing, toothpastes and pacifiers.
Though these antibacterial products have been effective in hospital settings at killing microorganisms, as well as in toothpaste to fight gum disease, there is little evidence to suggest that they are more beneficial than regular soap for the general population. This may be in part, because people do not use the products correctly. To kill microbes, people need to wash their hands with the antibacterial products for 20 to 30 seconds, but studies show people use the soaps for only six seconds on average.
Some studies have suggested that triclosan and triclocarban can alter hormones in animals. The researchers in the Arizona State study suggested that more regulation of the use of these products may be necessary in the future.