Health And Medicine

Antibacterial Soap With Triclosan No Better Than Plain Soap

Antibacterial soap containing triclosan is no more effective than regular soap. To kill germs, germs have to be soaked in triclosan for nine hours.

Triclosan is a widely used antibacterial and anti-fungal ingredient; it is found in soap, detergents, and almost every cleansing products we use. However, besides its so claimed antibacterial and anti fungal properties and being chemically flagged as potentially dangerous, scientists at Korea University have finally discovered that using antibacterial soap containing triclosan is no more effective than using regular soap in killing germs.

Washing hands with antibacterial soap containing triclosan no better than regular soap.

The paper, published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, examined how triclosan in soaps reacts to 20 dangerous bacterial strains (proposed by the FDA). When researchers looked at the bactericidal effects of triclosan in soaps against all 20 strains and compared the effectiveness of antibacterial soap and non-antibacterial soap in removing bacteria from human hands, they found no significant difference between the effects of plain soap and antibacterial soap.

The researchers then went on further investigation to find the difference in bactericidal effect between antibacterial and non-antibacterial soaps outside the lab, so they simulated the conditions of human hand washing and exposed the bacteria for 20 seconds at 22 degree Celsius (room temperature) and 40 degree Celsius (warm temperature) to triclosan with a concentration of 0.3% – maximum allowed in products sold in the European Union, Canada, Australia, China and Japan.

The researchers found that triclosan did not kill more bacteria than regular soaps even after 20 seconds, which is the length of time required for hand washing as recommended by the World Health Organization. However its effectiveness kicked in after more than nine hours.

So in order to kill the germs, they have to be soaked in triclosan for over nine hours. Well, I expect nobody to wash their hands for nine hours.

“Advertisement and consumer belief regarding the effectiveness of antibacterial soaps needs to be addressed,” said M.S. Rhee, lead author of the study.

The researchers said consumers need to be addressed about the ineffectiveness of the antibacterial soap and using plain non-antibacterial regular soap with water will be as effective as using antibacterial soap in removing germs from hands.

Min Suk Rhee, co-author of the study said, “It should be banned to exaggerate the effectiveness of… products which can confuse consumers.”

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  1. Jag använder en neem tvål som fungerade yoppen men sista batchen var inget vidare Men i Thailand hade dom tvål med triclosan och efter jag duschat luktade jag fortfarande svett under armarna. Köpte då kokliang ört tvål som fungerade bra mycket bättre . I vissa fall gör faktiskt schampo ett bättre jobb. Vem vill stiga ur duschen och sen lukta lök under armarna efter 1 min. Jag använder inte deo så behöver få bort all lukt på så sätt behövs ingen deo men får man ej bort all lukt så multipliceras bakterierna och illaluktande kommer snabbt som ett brev på posten likaså svettas man mer om bakterierna redan finns där, precis som om man sätter på sig en t shirt som har bakterier kvar under ärmarna. Därför sprayar jag 24% ättika innan jag slänger in i tvätten på så sätt tar det kål på bakterierna. Dom flesta svenskar vet inte hur man håller rent. Även några droppar lavendel i tvättbollen kan fräscha upp det sägs att essentiella oljor är bakteriedödande men hur mycket man behöver har jag ej sett statistik på. Tea tree olka luktar fräscht om man använder tillsammans med tvätten.

  2. There are many dangerous effect of triclosan on health. Many people use antibacterial soaps but they are not aware of effects of triclosan in antibacterial soap . So i would suggest that only those antibacterial soaps must be used that does not contain triclosan.Thanks for sharing this blog:)

  3. I’m glad I’ve never really bought into the who antibacterial this, antibacterial that, people have become so precious these days.

  4. 9 hours of hand washing, eh? Might make a few very OCD people happy. Actually, our family stopped using anti-bacterial soaps years ago because of their negative effects on the human body’s natural defenses and on the environment.

  5. This is really amazing, since it’s just a habit to always look for the words “anti-bacterial” on liquid soap. Just goes to show that advertising really has an effect on us all. Years ago, there used to be commercials for a dishwashing liquid that compared its level of suds to that of a competitor. My father was a research scientist for Colgate-Palmolive, and he told me that suds had nothing to do with the effectiveness of a soap product, but people were swayed by the commercial. Interesting as always!

    1. Totally agree, most commercials are all about deceiving end-users and I definitely would stop wasting money on fancy antibacterial soaps. Good to know your dad was a research scientist. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

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