Antibacterial soaps offer an enticing way to destroy bacteria that can make us sick. But triclosan, a common ingredient in many antibacterial products, has come under fire for possible health and environmental hazards.
Now, the Food and Drug Administration is reviewing the research on triclosan and considering a ban on the chemical. That raises questions about how well antibacterial soaps work in the first place and what we'd lose if they're taken off the market.
Does scrubbing with bacteria-destroying products actually prevent illnesses? Or is it making things worse?
Hand washing remains an important way to stay healthy, experts said, especially during the winter months. But regular soap and water or alcohol-based hand-sanitizers work just as well as triclosan-containing products do, without any of the potential concerns.
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