The main antibacterial ingredient in antibacterial soap (and in many toothpastes and antiperspirants) is triclosan, a chemical that does in fact kill germs. During the manufacturing process, however, triclosan produces a byproduct of dioxin, which is a highly carcinogenic chemical that can cause many bad health defects. Daily use of antibacterials can also cause increased allergic reactions, skin irritation, and has the potential to breed supergerms that may be resistant to antibacterial ingredients.
As far as the environment is concerned, 95% of all triclosan products are eventually flushed into our waterways. Triclosan is highly toxic to algae, and has the potential to destroy some very important parts of the aquatic ecosystem.
Not worry, however! Normal hand soap has been found to get rid of 99.4% of harmful germs (versus 99.6% using antibactieral soap) without the use of triclosan.¹ Antibacterial soaps are safely used in hospitals for avoiding infections, but beyond that there is no point in using it at home (except on cuts, wounds, etc.) So, buy some of that nice smelling, moisturizing, non-antibacterial (and maybe even all natural) hand soap and feel good about yourself!
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