Because we live in an age where we need research to prove the perfectly obvious, someone actually went to the trouble of researching whether you could contaminate yourself with bacteria by using someone else's bar soap. Turns out it not only doesn't contaminate, but it actually cleans! Yep. You read it here.
Turns out that you can't catch some hideous disease from washing your hands using a plain old bar of soap someone else has touched. Given our parents and grandparents seemed to have survived bar soap use without all becoming riddled with some kind of public bathroom soap carrying disease, you'd have to wonder how we got so caught up in thinking it was even possible.
The summary of the abstract from bar soap disease risk research, published on NCBI is below. (Spare a thought for the 16 'panellists'.)SOFTENED COMMERCIAL DEODORANT SOAP BARS (0.8% TRICLOCARBAN) WERE INOCULATED WITH ESCHERICHIA COLI AND PSEUDOMONAS AERUGINOSA TO GIVE MEAN TOTAL SURVIVAL LEVELS OF 4.4 X 10(5) C.F.U. PER BAR WHICH WAS 70-FOLD HIGHER THAN THOSE REPORTED ON USED SOAP BARS.
SIXTEEN PANELISTS WERE INSTRUCTED TO WASH WITH THE INOCULATED BARS USING THEIR NORMAL HANDWASHING PROCEDURE. AFTER WASHING, NONE OF THE 16 PANELISTS HAD DETECTABLE LEVELS OF EITHER TEST BACTERIUM ON THEIR HANDS.
So it appears that all 16 panellists not only lived, but they also caught no diseases, despite risking infection 70 times higher than normal. (Which makes me think the researchers could have just ventured to any child care and just shook a few kid's hands.)
Consistent with other published reports, the findings show the low risk in routine handwashing with previously used soap bars, and support the frequent use of soap and water for handwashing to prevent the spread of disease.
There has been acres of research over many years showing that antibacterial products are no more effective than soap and water and in fact are dangerous as they have the potential to create antibiotic-resistant bacteria. And that's before you begin to break down the effects of chemicals like triclosan, particularly the development of allergies as it impairs proper immune functioning.
There is an incredible array of natural soaps, shampoos, household cleaners and infusers available now. Products that both add value to your health and the environment you live in.
The meteoric rise of companies like Ethique - from kitchen table to global business in a few short years is testament to the appetite of consumers for this reality check. Biome Stores reported in June 2020 that sales of bar soaps had increased 1600 percent.
Its interesting to also know that your skin is a living organ and has its own unique biome - skin bugs, that are as helpful and needed for human health as your gut biome/bugs are. Us humans are better off nurturing and loving our helpful bacteria.
Monday, 9 September 2019