Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Is Antibacterial Soap Creating Superbugs?

Bacteria are among the most amazing organisms found on earth. They can evolve extremely fast, which allows more diversity and a better chance of survival. In recent studies biologists are finding that because of the nature of bacterial evolution, antibacterial soap is more harmful than beneficial. The purpose of antibacterial soap is to kill the bacteria, however, there are the few bacteria which are not affected by it and survive to reproduce further. Scientists think that the antibacterial craze is overdone. Joe Schwarcz a director at McGill University says “You don’t want to use a jackhammer to kill an ant when stepping on it will do”. He means why use antibacterial soap and run the risk of creating a resistant colony when you can use normal soap. Humans have survived centuries with only soap, why change now to a more risky substance. According to Natural Life Magazine the FDA is planning on banning antibacterial soap altogether. It is also stated in the Natural Life Magazine that antibacterial soap kills all bacteria including the good bacteria. This causes a threat because with the good bacteria gone there is no competition for the bad resistant bacteria. Therefore this could potentially create a domination species of bacteria. Eventually these bacteria could become resistant to most of the drugs we use and cause a colony of antibiotic resistant bacteria.
Another aspect of antibacterial soap is that it is too sterile. Humans are a very delicate species and live in very sterile conditions. In order to have a good immune system we must come in contact with bacteria, so that our immune systems can make antibodies. A baby for instance needs this contact with bacteria in order to have any immune system at all.

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