use your real soap

Here’s something I learned on the Internets today.

Plain Soap as Effective, Less Risky, than Antibacterials

Antibacterial soaps show no health benefits over plain soaps and may render some antibiotics less effective, according to analysis done at the University of Michigan.

In the first known comprehensive analysis of whether antibacterial soaps work better than plain ones, a UM School of Public Health team found that antibacterial soaps at formulations sold to the public don’t remove any more bacteria from the hands during washing than plain soaps. Also, the main active ingredient in many antibacterial soaps – triclosan – may cause some bacteria to become more resistant to drugs such as amoxicillin, by fostering mutations that help bacteria keep their cellular walls intact. The study was published in the August, 2007, edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases.

I’m very concerned about the thoughtless proliferation of antibacterial soaps, which is essentially a marketing gimmick that does consumers no good and dumps tons of mutation-promoting chemicals into the environment. The current “superbug” news – that MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphlococcus Aureus) infections may be twice as common as previously believed – may prove to be just the beginning of a long siege by antibiotic-resistant infectious agents. If consumers don’t buy antibacterial soaps, manufacturers will stop making them, so remember: Plain soap and water are all you need to stay clean.

So says Dr. Weil.

What does this have to do with writing? Absolutely nuthin. Just thought you should know. Don’t you wish everybody did?

4 thoughts on “use your real soap

  1. Yes, family members have confronted me with the idea that “bottled water is just purified tap water.” To which I responded, “Sure. They purified it for a reason, but they purified it. You’d rather drink unpurified tap water?” I don’t care where it came from, as long as it’s clean now. Otherwise, I’m going to have to hike into the high sierras in search of my own.

    Bill, I’m afraid you’re right about the antiperspirants. What? I said I think he’s right. Hmm? Where? You said … Oh crap, I was right here a minute ago.

  2. When bottled water is labeled Dasani or Aqua-terrific, you have to be careful — I urged the water plant director I know in these parts to start selling bottled water straight from his office faucet. He laughed, then Coke and Pepsi were outed on the source of their water in their bottled waters.

    I have held fast to the idea that aluminum chlorhydrate in anti-perspirants is part of the cause of the increase in dementing diseases — and nobody is going to convince me otherwise.

  3. Great comment, thank you for giving me a chuckle this morning. I totally agree, except on the water. I have to drink bottled water, not because it’s cleaner or safer, but because the tap water where I live tastes like it’s been sitting in a boy scout canteen for a week, then dribbled up through a drinking fountain in an abandoned insane asylum.

  4. Ya know, I don’t know where I got it, but inside, me deep and abiding, is an innate skepticism (scepticism, for our British friends) of trends and fads and ads and stuff like that. For example, I always believed bottled water was a hoax in the US, and always felt antiperspirants were bad for the pits. I never fell for claims about hair growth or weight loss (Dr. Adkins works because you eat fewer calories once you get sick of canned tuna and mayo), and as to soap–I switched from Dial to Ivory years ago because I knew the bacteria didn’t give a damn.

    Think of the money I’ve saved. And as to politics, where my skepticism is strongest, think of the expectations I’ve not had dashed.

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