Drug-resistant superbugs, such as the heavily defiant strain of tiberculosis that is now popping up across the globe, are causing serious shockwaves throughout the medical community. Rampant use of antibiotics for unnecessary conditions and pumping livestock up with an exorbant amount (around 80% of the entire United States antibiotic supply) of drugs is a leading factor, but research shows that anti-bacterial hand sanitizers and cleaners are also contributing to the problem.
The Link Between Anti-Bacterial Hand Sanitizers and Resistant Superbugs
Anti-bacterial products have become commonplace in many households and classrooms across the nation, though they are especially prevalent in India — where scientists say the overall use of antibiotics in drug and cleaning form alike are way overused. In addition to containing the problematic ingredient triclosan, these anti-bacterial hand washes and disinfectants are also contributing to the rapid growth of antibiotic-resistant superbugs that pose a serious risk to human health. At least when trying to ‘treat’ them with the same pharmaceutical interventions that spawned them in the first place.
In fact, it should be noted that both antibiotic drugs and sanitizers also kill beneficial bacteria known as probiotics. Probiotics are integral to a properly functioning immune system and overall health. Without the flourishing of this ‘good’ bacteria, your ability to fight off any infections — let alone superbugs — is compromised.
In a study conducted by Consumer Education & Research Society (CERS) and CHOICE, published in the consumer magazine Insight, the scientists found that soap and water is actually as good or better in fighting off unwanted germs and bacteria without fueling the superbug epidemic. They also found the ubiquitous endocrine-disrupting chemical triclosan to interfere with both thyroid and sex hormone function.
It is easy to see why we should be significantly reducing use of such products, if not halting use altogether.