We all wash our hands throughout the day, and most of us have finally caught on to the fact that frequent hand washing is one of the best ways to protect our health. So, it’s logical to think that if handwashing helps keep us healthy, then adding antibacterial additives such as triclosan to soap – which has been proven to help kill germs and bacteria – will protect us all the more.
Right? Well, this is not totally true and we will explain why.
Here’s a little chemistry refresher on how soaps clean our hands. Soap molecules are what are called amphipathic, which means they contain molecules that can be mixed with water (like sugar) and molecules that cannot be mixed with water, like oil. This combination of molecules is what helps loosen and then, with rinsing, remove germs and bacteria along with other soils from our hands.
With me so far?
Additives such as triclosan are supposed to take this a step further and kill those germs and bacteria from our hands. But, depending on the purpose of the usage, the molecules in the soap make this unnecessary. Indeed, with proper hand washing using soap without triclosan additives, rinsing the hands, and as a final step, drying the hands with paper, the germs and bacteria are already gone. Antibacterials skin cleaners are only recommended to be occasionally used on lightly soiled hands only as a second-line approach or when regular soap and water are not available.
So, if we do not even need these antibacterial additives like Triclosan, is this why the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ban them in 2016? No. The reasons that 19 specific active ingredients, including Triclosan were banned from consumer hand soaps and other products is because they may be unsafe for humans, especially if used for a prolonged time, as well as harmful to the environment.
• Studies performed on cells and animals in laboratories suggest that some of these chemical additives can negatively impact hormones.
• An accumulation of triclosan specifically has been found to be harmful to organisms such as algae and aquatic life.
• The frequent uses of some of these additives, and again this specifically applies to triclosan, has been proven to make us drug-resistant to some forms of bacteria found on our hands.
This last point is the most important. Over the past decade, the FDA has been cracking down on the use of antibiotics, used to help fight infections. The reason for this is that the overuse of antibiotics over the past decades has caused them to become ineffective. Now the FDA is concerned that the overuse of these antibacterial additives like Triclosan in soap will produce even more bacteria resistant to antibiotics.
This is why Avmor is taking steps to eliminate Triclosan from their soaps. This molecule is simply not needed; it may pose serious health risks in the future, and it is harmful to other living things and the environment. Just washing your hands properly with effective hand soap might be all you need to do. Let’s help you do that.
For more information on environmentally responsible hand soaps, contact an Avmor representative.