Antibacterial Soap Is No Better At Killing Germs Than Regular Soap

September 18, 2015

New research suggests products marketed as "antibacterial soap" are no better at killing germs than regular soap. In fact, they could be worse for you.

Antibacterial Soap Is No Better At Killing Germs Than Regular Soap
Photo: Mariana Bazo / Reuters

A study published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy found that hand cleaners laden with the antibiotic triclosan are no more effective than regular soap at killing germs.

Researcher Min-Suk Rhee and colleagues from Korea University found that in terms of bacteria killed, there was no difference between the two. Only after NINE HOURS did the triclosan-containing soap appear to have a significant effect in killing more germs.

The chemical triclosan is currently undergoing a safety review by the Food and Drug Administration for reputed ill health effects.

"Antibacterial activities of triclosan have been well documented. However, its risk remains controversial since various adverse effects have been reported, including allergen, antibiotic resistance, carcinogenic impurities and bioaccumulation," Rhee says. "Our study indicates there was no significant difference in antiseptic effects."

If using regular soap is just as effective, is antibacterial soap worth the risk?

Credit: Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy.

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