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Old 06-15-2007, 09:03 PM
 
Location: Tennessee/Michigan
27,996 posts, read 46,373,100 times
Reputation: 19403

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Antibacterial soaps and other cleaners may actually be aiding in the development of superbacteria.

Tuberculosis, food poisoning, cholera, pneumonia, strep throat and meningitis: these are just a few of the unsavory diseases caused by bacteria. Hygiene—keeping both home and body clean—is one of the best ways to curb the spread of bacterial infections, but lately consumers are getting the message that washing with regular soap is insufficient. Antibacterial products have never been so popular. Body soaps, household cleaners, sponges, even mattresses and lip glosses are now packing bacteria-killing ingredients, and scientists question what place, if any, these chemicals have in the daily routines of healthy people.

Strange but True: Antibacterial Products May Do More Harm Than Good: Scientific American
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Old 06-16-2007, 08:48 AM
 
Location: Oxford, England
13,036 posts, read 21,523,143 times
Reputation: 19858
Yep , we have become far too sanitised a nation and our resistance to bacteria has decreased so much we are far more prone to disease when it actually presents itself. Trying to kill all bacteria is silly as it means that the one who survives are stronger and far more dangerous for us and we have no way of coping with them.
Being clean is great but not all bacteria is bad. Our bodies are large repositories for them and they help strengthen our immune system , regulate the flora in our stomach etc...
In short be clean but not too up-tight about it, and let your kids play with the dogs, cats etc... a bit of dirt does not hurt anyone. The boom in anti bacterial products have led to kids developing more allergies and things like Asthma etc..
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Old 06-16-2007, 01:11 PM
 
2,063 posts, read 6,244,514 times
Reputation: 2712
People forget that there are many "good" bacteria that we actually need that are also killed. Quite a few researchers are coming up with evidence of many auto immune diseases and allergies could possibly be related to being too "clean" and wiping out too many bacteria. On top of that there is increasing evidence that the common germ killers used in products like hand soap, body wash and toothpaste may also be releasing carcinogenic and toxic chemicals. You would think that was obvious when the chemicals being used are "cousins" with heavy duty pesticides!

For a nice non-technical intro to the topic:

ES&T Online News: When chlorine + antimicrobials = unintended consequences (http://pubs.acs.org/subscribe/journals/esthag-w/2005/apr/science/kb_chlorine.html - broken link)
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