Friday, January 23, 2009

Germs Under the Microscope

Fact of Myth? Antibacterial Soaps can help create resistant strains.

Answer: Possibly a Fact
The antibacterial triclosan is rinsed off before it can do all its work and then enters the water supply and resistant strains of bacteria have been created in labs using triclosan, although it remains to be seen if it will happen in the natural environment.

Accumulation of triclosan in the environment or chronic exposure to it on a long-term basis, especially for children, may have a long-term risk that we will not discover until later on.
And, studies show that antibacterial soap doesn't do enough to justify its use; regular soap rids germs from hands just as effectively as antibacterial soaps.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Germs Under the Microscope

Fact or Myth? Antibacterial soap keeps your hands cleaner than regular soap.

Answer: Myth
If you can get to a sink and wash your hands with regular soap for 15-20 seconds followed by a good rinsing, that is the most effective method for shedding unwanted germs.

Washing with soap and water doesn't remove all of the microbes present on our hands, but that's actually a good thing. Some of those littler germs are and important part of our skin, and even if we did kill them, they would return.
Given that regular soap and water removes germs, there is no need for an antibacterial agent, and it probably doesn’t work anyway. The speed of action of the ingredients added is rather slow, so they are really not on our hands long enough to make a significant impact.
In fact, the presence of antibacterial agents in soaps may present more problems than solutions. Stay tuned for more.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Germ Myths Under the Microscope

Fact or Myth? You can get infections or illnesses from sitting directly on a public toilet seat.

Answer: Myth
Just sort of sitting on the seat and having that contact with the skin on your bottom isn't going to be a way of transmitting an infection says one doctor at the Simmons Center for Hygiene and Health at Simmons College in Boston.

Everyone finds public toilets disgusting, but you're more likely to get sick from touching the toilet seat or the flush handle with your hand.