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Aren’t ALL Soaps Antibacterial?

Puritan Soap
(Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Pondering over what type of  liquid hand soap to buy at a local pharmacy over the weekend, I noticed the huge difference in prices between regular vs antibacterial soaps.  $4.87 for a name brand bottle of antibacterial soap, but just .99 cents for regular.  So, I decided to do a little research.  Here is what I discovered.  According to an FDA advisory panel and the Centers for Disease Control, popular antibacterial soaps are no more effective at preventing illness than regular, less expensive soaps.

These conclusions could eventually lead to stricter government regulation of  many antibacterial products, now sold with the suggestion that they offer an advantage over traditional soaps and cleansers.

Antibacterial soaps and alcohol-based hand gels are widely used by hospitals and clinics where they have shown some benefit in cutting the risk of patient-to-patient infections. Similar products are also widely sold to the general public despite evidence that hand washing with regular soap and water is just as effective.

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