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Canadian Government Considers Banning Antibacterial Products Over Triclosan Concerns

What's the Deal With Triclosan?

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?

Image Source: Getty
Join The Conversation
jesssa jesssa 7 years
sorry that should say "if i can"
jesssa jesssa 7 years
I don't avoid anti-bacterial, I just avoid triclosan if I cant
kia kia 7 years
I avoid anti-bacterial products as much as I can. I personally think there is an advertising push to use these products to circumvent plain common sense and good hygiene. The triclosan now evident in marine mammals and water supplies is just another example of how much random stuff we have added to our lives that is not necessary. And it shows up in our run-off and just like the water cycle demonstrates... doesn't necessarily go away.
Merlin713 Merlin713 7 years
The body wash I've used for years has this in it. Also, back in the day, my facewash did too. UGH! :oy: :frustration:
insanitypepper insanitypepper 7 years
All the hand soap in the restrooms and break rooms in my 28-story building contains triclosan. Grr! And it's all heavily scented, which is also annoying.
expresso14 expresso14 7 years
Yes, soap and water (and a little time and vigorously rubbing your hands together are much better). Even some of the alcohol based hand sanitizers aren't great since they contain surfactants that just sit on the top of the skin.
mudnessa mudnessa 7 years
I avoid anti-bacterial and am currently having issues finding combs and hair clips that don't have Microban in them, which is a trade name for triclosan. Also watch out during your back to school shopping lunch boxes and a lot of other plastic supplies.
runningesq runningesq 7 years
The only time I use hand sanitzer is at my local animal shelter (we are required to between handling each animal). otherwise, plain ol soap and water for me !
Spectra Spectra 7 years
I definitely avoid them because they usually do more harm than good. I actually thought triclosan wasn't being used anymore because it's a well-known fact that it promotes resistance in bacteria. You're best bet is to just wash your hands frequently with regular soap and wash most bacteria away when you do that. If you're somewhere where you can't wash your hands, use a hand sanitizer that is alcohol-based and rub it for a good 15-20 seconds to kill bacteria. Like Jessee said, we are a way-too-sanitized society. If you never expose your immune system to any foreign bodies, it doesn't know what to do when it encounters them and you end up getting allergies and being prone to being sick. Exposure to some good ol' fashioned harmless gram-positive bacteria would probably do most people good.
Jessee Jessee 7 years
I avoid them at all costs. I never had anything like that growing up and I am still here. I think society has become too sanitized to fight off sickness.
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