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Antibacterial Products: Can You Be Too Clean?
Waging a War on Germs
Hygiene Over Hype
- Disinfectants, surface cleaners, and window cleaning solutions
- Toothpaste and mouthwash
- Surface wipes
- Wash your hands—Wash hands thoroughly with plain soap and water. Teach children to do this often, especially before eating, after going to the bathroom, and after school.
- Safely prepare food—Besides cooking meats completely and storing food appropriately, make sure the surfaces on which they are prepared are cleaned.
- Keep your germs off of others—If you are sick, you should cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing. Follow-up with proper hand-washing.
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases http://www.niaid.nih.gov
US Food and Drug Administration http://www.fda.gov
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Healthy Alberta http://www.healthyalberta.com
Angkadjaja S. What makes antibacterial soap antibacterial? Illumin website. Available at: http://illumin.usc.edu/printer/68/what-makes-antibacterial-soap-antibacterial/. Accessed May 19, 2014.
Antibacterial cleaning products. Better Health Channel website. Available at: http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Antibacterial%5Fcleaning%5Fproducts?open. Updated May 2013. Accessed May 9, 2014.
Antibacterials in household products. Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics. Tufts University website. Available at: http://www.tufts.edu/med/apua/consumers/personal%5Fhome%5F5%5F3590195869.pdf. Published September 2010. Accessed May 9, 2014.
Bergstrom KG. News, views, & reviews. Update on antibacterial soaps: the FDA takes a second look at triclosans. J Drugs Dermatol. 2014;13(4):501-503.
Decoding the labels. Environmental Working Group website. Available at: http://www.ewg.org/guides/cleaners/content/decoding%5Flabels. Accessed May 19, 2014.
General background: antibiotic agents. Alliance for the Product Use of Antibiotics website. Available at: http://www.tufts.edu/med/apua/about%5Fissue/agents.shtml#2. Accessed May 19, 2014.
Healthy home tips: Tip 5—Wash those hands, but avoid Triclosan. Environmental Working Group website. Available at: http://www.ewg.org/research/healthy-home-tips/tip-5-wash-those-hands-avoid-triclosan. Accessed May 19, 2014.
Levy S. Antibacterial household products: cause for concern. US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Emerging Infectious Disease. Available at: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/7/7/01-7705%5Farticle.htm. Updated April 27, 2012. Accessed May 9, 2014.
Minnesota state agencies will no longer purchase products containing triclosan. Beyond Pesticides website. Available at: http://www.beyondpesticides.org/dailynewsblog/?p=9881. Published March 6, 2014. Accessed May 21, 2014.
US Food and Drug Administration. FDA taking closer look at antibacterial soap. US Food and Drug Administration website. Available at: http://permanent.access.gpo.gov/gpo44917/UCM378615.pdf. Published December 2013. Accessed May 19, 2014.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 05/2014
- Update Date: 00/52/2014