Antibacterial Hand Sanitizer May Actually Make You Sicker

Before you reach for that hand sanitizer, consider this: rather than killing germs, that action is actually more likely to make you - and society - sicker.

What is worse, perhaps the most comprehensive study of the effectiveness of antibiotic and non-antibiotic soaps in the U.S., led by Elaine Larson at Columbia University (with Aiello as a coauthor), found that while for healthy hand washers there was no difference between the effects of the two, for chronically sick patients (those with asthma and diabetes, for example) antibiotic soaps were actually associated with increases in the frequencies of fevers, runny noses and coughs [4]. In other words, antibiotic soaps appeared to have made those patients sicker. Let me say that again: Most people who use antibiotic soap are no healthier than those who use normal soap. AND those individuals who are chronically sick and use antibiotic soap appear to get SICKER.

Rob Dunn wrote a guest blog over at Scientific America that every germophobe should read: Link (Illustration: Don Smith) - via We, Beasties


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This is clearly a load of garbage. You can always tell when they're ridiculously vague about all the findings that they're just rabble rousing.
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There is a difference between hand sanitizer and antibacterial soaps. As Kev stated, antibacterial soaps are at fault for possibly creating superbugs, but alcohol-based sanitizers have not shown to create resistance. The best bet right now is plain liquid soap and water, but it's difficult to find non-antibacterial soaps anymore. I'm currently using Softsoap (ginger/coconut) that is non-antibacterial and cheap.
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Well, I have been saying this for years. You need germs to build up an immunity to, well, germs. I'll wash my hands when they get dirty enough to wash and only use hand sanitizer around newborns. You can count Lyscol in that comment too. Keep it away from your kinds and don't wipe their hands with it.
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I find it very hard to find liquid hand soap that isn't anti-bacterial - most of the stores around me don't carry normal soap. The "organic" stores sell normal liquid soap, but at nearly triple the price. *sigh*
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I agree with the commenter above.
I banned that stuff from my house years ago. It is showing up in receiving waters everywhere, and reducing the effectiveness of antibiotics. Don't use triclosan products - use alcohol rubs. Alcohol kills germs without antibiotics, and readily breaks down in the environment.
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