It may work wonderfully in a lab, but in real life, researchers say expensive products containing a popular antibacterial ingredient are a complete waste of time and money – and that the old-fashioned version works just fine.
Triclosan, which is added to all kinds of things from garden hoses to toothpaste, is typically the active ingredient in antibacterial hand soaps, however a recent study has shown that it is no more effective at killing germs than good old soap.
This is good news, considering that triclosan has been linked to antibiotic resistance and hormone problems, and is currently under review by the US Food and Drug Administration, according to Medical Observer.
The study, which was published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, found that Triclosan only became effective after germs had been steeped in the antibacterial soap for nine hours.
“At times less than six hours there was little difference between the two (soaps),” the researchers wrote.
The team used antibacterial soap containing 0.3 per cent Triclosan, which is the maximum content allowed in most parts of the world, including Europe, Canada, Australia, China and Japan.
The researchers, from Korea University have gone so far as to suggest that Triclosan be banned from soaps so that the effectiveness cannot be exaggerated to consumers.
Do you use antibacterial hand wash or do you prefer a good old-fashioned bar of soap?