Measured Against Reality

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Antimicrobial soaps

I've never liked antimicrobial household products, and now there's concrete evidence that they're no better than normal products.

In the first known comprehensive analysis of whether antibacterial soaps work better than plain soaps, Allison Aiello of the U-M School of Public Health and her team found that washing hands with an antibacterial soap was no more effective in preventing infectious illness than plain soap. Moreover, antibacterial soaps at formulations sold to the public do not remove any more bacteria from the hands during washing than plain soaps.


Bacterial resistance to antibiotics is one of the most devastating (and predictable) of the challenges facing modern medicine, and while giving up antibacterial soaps won't solve the problem alone, it might help. And according to this study, it won't hurt a bit.

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