Minggu, 10 Februari 2008

The Dangers of Antibacterial Soaps

If you're discussing antibiotic resistance of bacteria (p. 18 of Human Biology 5th ed.) or the benefits/risks of breast milk (p. 206) and are looking for an easy-to-read article for your students, take a look at "Fact or Fiction: Do Antibacterial Soaps Do More Harm than Good?" in the February issue of Scientific American (p. 96).

The brief one-page article concludes that for normal healthy people, antibacterial soaps have no apparent health advantage over frequent hand-washing with ordinary soap and water. On the risk side of the risk/benefit continuum, antibacterial additives such as triclosan are showing up in rivers and streams, in agricultural soil, and even in human breast milk. The article certainly would give students something to think about and discuss.

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