Monday, September 21, 2015

Plain Soaps as effective as Antibacterial Soaps: Study

Contributed by Siddarth David and Dr. Tamhankar

A study conducted by researchers in the College of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, Korea University, Seoul  has shown that there was no significant difference (p > 0.05) between washing hands with plain soap and antibacterial soaps. The study published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy showed that when 20 strains of bacteria, including Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, Listeria and MRSA were exposed to one soap of regular formation and one containing 0.3 percent triclosan for the recommended 20 seconds of hand washing, there was no difference in the amount of bacteria killed by the two varieties.

The study reported significant difference in killing more germs in the triclosan soap only after nine hours, which was a rather long period for washing of hands said the study. The study was also was experimented with 16 participants using both the soaps and again no difference was found.

The study does raise questions on the effectiveness of the use antibacterials in soaps, and if further research validates the finding of the Korean study, shifting to the traditional and cheaper soap and water for hand washing could reduce unnecessary antibacterial use in daily life.  

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