Antibacterial products are everywhere right now, thanks to continuing swine-flu fears. But earlier research indicates that antibacterial products containing triclosan aren't any better at killing bacteria than regular soap. Now, the Canadian Medical Association is proposing a ban on antibacterial products on the grounds that they actually promote more bacteria.
The culprit? Triclosan, the active ingredient in many antibacterial products. According to a recent story in Canada's Globe and Mail, triclosan shows up in everything from hand wipes to toothpaste and unfortunately resurfaces in drinking water and breast milk. Its ubiquity is making bacteria more resistant to triclosan and other antibiotics used to treat illness.
Dr. Kapil Khatter, who proposed the Canadian ban, suggests avoiding triclosan and instead using good ol' soap and water to fend off bacteria. He also endorses sanitizing gels, such as Purell, that are alcohol-based. Do you avoid antibacterial products?