The problem with antibacterial Soap?
After years of raising concerns from public health experts, the FDA finally banned 19 chemicals contained in antibacterial soaps and gave companies one year to remove these chemicals from their products. The FDA based its decision "on data that shows these chemicals do more health harm in the long term than good". 40% of antibacterial liquid and bar soaps contain these chemicals.
Why Skip Antibacterial Soaps all together?
Yes, I understand the flu season is fast approaching and we are so used to the idea of killing flu germs with antibacterial soaps. But, are conventional antibacterial soaps really effective at killing germs? A year ago the FDA already announced that antibacterial soaps were not more effective than plain water and soap at preventing illness.
What are the health concerns from the banned ingredients?
This FDA ban specifically addresses the health concerns of 19 ingredients of these soaps. Trisclosan and tricloraban are some of the banned chemicals; these two chemicals are very popular and used in more than 2000 products according to the FDA.
"Many liquid soaps labeled antibacterial contain triclosan, an ingredient of concern to many environmental, academic and regulatory groups. Animal studies have shown that triclosan alters the way some hormones work in the body and raises potential concerns for the effects of use in humans."
According to a New York Time article, citing research from the the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University, you can find these harmful chemicals in "breast milk, urine, blood and in babies just born."
Studies, including federal publication (like this one), indicate that the banned chemicals including triclosan can cause hormonal disruptions. They can impact the fetal reproductive system. They can impact hormone processes in the thyroid and the body. This hormone disruption can lead to different cancers.
Resistance to Bacteria
Recent studies also suggest these antibacterial soaps promote the growth of superbugs that are bacterial resistant. To learn more, click here.
We use antibacterial soaps every day. What are the alternatives?
Anti-microbial soaps are different than antibacterial soaps. Anti-bacterial soap prevent the development of bacterial while anti-microbial soap prevent the spread of fungi, viruses.
There are many natural anti-microbial soaps out there. The three natural anti-microbial below are effective and affordable for the whole family; they do not contain triclosan or tricloraban. I consider them the basics for anti-microbial soaps. You can use them for the little ones too. There are made with essential oils and natural/organic ingredients.
1. Dr. Bronner's Organic Fair Trade Shikakai Hand Soap. Organic Anti-Microbial Soap.
This soap is a plant-based. This soap is very gentle on the skin. The main ingredient is Organic shikakai. This ingredient has been used in India for more than a 1000 of years as a conditioning cleanser for hair and skin. This is a 12 oz bottle that retail for $12. It leaves your hands soft, even after several washes. This hand soap ranks one on EWG for safety and non-toxic level. Click here to shop for this soap.
2. Clean Well - Antibacterial Foaming Soap Orange Vanilla.
I think the pack of 4 is the most affordable. This soap smells wonderful; the mix of orange and vanilla is very interesting. Over scents include lavender, lemon. It is a foam hand soap. It is trisclosan-free and alcohool-free. It has no colorant; it is definitively great for kids. The pack of 4 retails for $23 on Amazon. Well worth it! I usually go for the pack of 4, so I can put it all around the house. Click here to shop for this soap.
3.Vi-Tae -Certified Organic ANTIBACTERIAL Soap
This is a soap bar; it is made with 100% natural and organic ingredients. This soap bar is very gentle on the skin. It is made of lemongrass and lime essential oil to fight germs. I like that this soap is handcrafted and made in small batches. This is a coconut oil soap, so it is extremely gentle, especially on sensitive or dry skin. Click here to shop this soap bar. This 4 oz antibacterial soap costs $11 on Amazon. Yes, it is priced high, but this soap works wonders. It kills germs while it moisturizes the skin. You can also save on your purchase: "★ SAVE 20% When You Buy 3 Soap Bars! ★ SAVE 25% When You Buy 6 Soap Bars! ★ SAVE 30% When You Buy 9 Soap Bars! Enter code BQYOQYA3"
Avoid the following antibacterial Soaps, they contain at least one chemical that was banned by the FDA.