News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Antibacterial soaps - more hype than health

Antibacterial soaps - more hype than health


Antibacterial soaps are little more than a marketing invention and at worst could actually be doing us harm, says Consumer NZ.

"Ads trumpet the soaps' 99% bacteria-killing power successfully playing on our fear of germs and boosting multi-million dollar sales," says Consumer NZ chief executive Sue Chetwin.

"But evidence these products provide any extra benefit is lacking - and there's a chance they are doing us harm by reducing the effectiveness of drugs we rely on to fight infections when we do get sick."

Triclosan and triclocarban are among the most common bacterial agents manufacturers use in their products. Both are being targeted by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The agency has said it will require manufacturers to prove antibacterial soaps are safe for everyday use, and more effective than plain soap and water in preventing the spread of infections, Chetwin said.

The antibacterial agents are found in many products on supermarket shelves in NZ from brands like Dettol, Health Basics, Select, Protex and Palmolive, she said.

They are approved for use here but there is growing concern use of antibacterial agents in consumer goods are contributing to the development of antibiotic resistance.

Triclosan has also been found in wastewater here. It's one of the chemicals being tracked by researchers from the government-funded Centre for Integrated Biowaste Research, investigating the environmental effects of ingredients used in common household products.

Project leader Dr Louis Tremblay told Consumer NZ triclosan was an effective broad-spectrum antimicrobial but it should only be used where there was a clear benefit. It was overkill to use it in household soaps.

His advice was, if people wanted to do something for the environment, choose a plain bar of soap.

Studies cited by manufacturers to support claims that washing your hands with antibacterial soap provides any health advantage over using plain soap and water, have largely been dismissed by the FDA.

Chetwin said antibacterial soaps were a solution to a non-existent problem - regular soap and water would get your hands as clean as they needed to be.


ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Howard Davis: Orson Welles' Masterpiece - 'Chimes At Midnight'

Never widely distributed in the US, but Welles' own personal favorite and hugely influential on directors as diverse as Kenneth Branagh and Mel Gibson, a restored 50th anniversary print has now reached the New Zealand Film Festival. More>>

Off To Leeds: Wellington’s Local Naked Girl Spreads Her Wings

Wellington born, bred and based live artist Virginia Kennard, self confessed “local naked girl”, has earned a place on the MA in Performance programme at Leeds Beckett University and flies away in 2 months time. More>>

Free Diving: William Trubridge Breaks World Record

With just a single breath, New Zealand free diver William Trubridge has successfully broken his own unassisted free dive world record of 101 metres. More>>

ALSO:

RLWC 2017 Draw: New Zealand Set For A Festival Of Rugby League

New Zealand Rugby League fans will have the chance to see the Kiwis in action against the best in the Pacific region for the Rugby League World Cup 2017, as announced today at the Official Tournament Draw. More>>

ALSO:

Non-Pokemon News: Magical Park A Safer Augmented Reality For Younger Audiences

Since May, Wellington City Council has been trialling a new app, Magical Park, in collaboration with the game’s New Zealand developer Geo AR Games, in parks around the city. Magical Park uses GPS technology to get users moving around the park to play within a set boundary. More>>

'Erroneous': Pokemon App Makers On Huge Privacy Flaw

We recently discovered that the Pokémon Go account creation process on iOS erroneously requests full access permission for the user's Google account... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news