The Worth of Antibacterial Soap - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3/1/04

The Worth of Antibacterial Soap

Antibacterial soaps: are they worth it?

A new study at Columbia University followed more than 200 households and found no difference in the rate of symptoms like cough, fever, and stomach distress among families that used antibacterial products and those that didn't. Why?

Because they say most minor illnesses like colds and the flu are caused by viruses, not bacteria, and that most infections are acquired outside the home anyway.

They also say while antibacterials may be effective in preventing certain skin conditions and other illnesses, tried and true tactics like covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze and frequent handwashing are still the best ways to prevent illness. There has been some concern that the overuse of antibacterial products may lead to resistant strains of bacteria.

The study was conducted by the Columbia School of Nursing in New York and is published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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