Many antibacterial hand soaps contain triclosan as one of the most common ingredient. Triclosan addition to the soaps are vastly publicized to make the soaps more effective and have better antibacterial properties. But this chemical has recently been flagged as potentially dangerous; it seems such soaps are no better at killing germs than normal soaps.
A study in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy reports that when it comes to normal hand-washing there is “no significant difference” between plain soap and antibacterial soap in terms of killing bacteria. Triclosan became effective only after microbes had been steeped in it for nine hours, the authors found. “At times less than six hours there was little difference between the two [soaps],” they wrote.
To evaluate triclosan’s germ-killing abilities, the team placed 20 dangerous bacteria strains, including Escherichia coli, Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella enteritidis in petri dishes with either antibacterial or regular soap…
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