Reseacher Urges Less Use of Antibacterial Soap
Proper cleaning and disinfection is important, but you can overdo it...
ATLANTA (Reuters) - Ingredients in soaps and cleansers intended to fight bacteria could promote the growth of drug-resistant "superbugs" that might otherwise be kept in check with little more than a vigorous scrub, a researcher said Monday.
The efforts of humans to keep their bodies and the things they touch bacteria-free are misguided, Tufts University microbiologist Dr. Stuart Levy told the International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases.
"Dousing everything we touch with antibacterial soaps and taking antibiotic medications at the first sign of a cold can upset the natural balance of microorganisms in and around us, leaving behind only the 'superbugs,"' Levy said.
He said older cleansers such as soap and hot water, alcohol, chlorine bleach and hydrogen peroxide are sufficient for most purposes. Levy said strong antibacterial cleaners are needed only when someone in a household is seriously ill or has low immunity.
"If we are to avert a crisis, people need to stop and think twice before using fortified cleansers and pressuring their doctors to give them antibiotics for every infection," he said.
Originally online http://www.cnn.com/2000/HEALTH/07/17/health.bacteria.reut/index.html.
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