What’s so Bad about Antibacterial Soap?


Hannah Moffit, Senior Staff Writer

What kind of soap do you use in your household? Wouldn’t you think antibacterial soap would be the most beneficial to your health? According to many recent studies, some by Harvard University and Eco Watch, this belief is a mistaken one.

Not only is antibacterial soap bad for a person, it could also impair muscle function, disrupt hormones, and create a larger risk of allergies, states sources. Antibacterial soap may also kill the bacteria that is good for one’s body.  It contains a chemical called Triclosan that has stirred up much controversy. When the bacteria on someone’s skin comes into contact with triclosan, it may cause a genetic mutation. This mutation makes the bacteria immune to the chemical, but it also makes the bacteria harder to kill.

When Dominic Collela, a Hubbard senior, was asked if he knew about triclosan was and its function, he responded with:  “I have heard some bad things about this chemical before, and the fact that it goes on my skin every day makes me a little skeptical.”

Triclosan could possibly have detrimental effects on the environment as well. Once the soap that contains the chemical gets into the water streams, it turns into a thick and gooey substance. This substance is then transferred back into drinking water and agricultural land, possibly contaminating it all.

When Hubbard junior, Amanda Trinckes was asked if she thought antibacterial soap was generally as good as it was portrayed, she responded,  “No, it’s not good for you because of all of the unhealthy chemicals that are added into them.”

A study by the Oxford Journal of Infectious Disease shows that antibacterial soap isn’t actually any more effective than regular soap, which  doesn’t have all the harmful chemicals added. The FDA gave all soap manufacturers until September of 2017 to stop adding triclosan, as well as 18 other antibacterial agents, to their soaps. This action will keep consumers from exposing not only themselves, but the environment as well, to these potentially harmful chemicals.

So the next time you are out buying household items, you may want to rethink a purchase of antibacterial soap.