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Why there are growing calls to ban antibacterial soaps

Dee Dee Dunleavy
Article image for Why there are growing calls to ban antibacterial soaps

There are growing calls for antibacterial and antimicrobial soaps to be banned.

The soaps are no more effective than regular soaps, but fuel superbugs which are resistant to treatment and can prove deadly.

Director of Monash University’s Centre to Impact Antimicrobial Resistance, Professor Trevor Lithgow, says the labels are marketing ploys.

“I think that we’ve done a great job as a community in promoting hand hygiene … with this heightened awareness comes the anticipation that something that says it’s antibacterial or antimicrobial must therefore be better,” he told Dee Dee.

“Our concern is that they are chemicals which are washed off into the environment and that they do select for drug resistance … characteristics in the super bugs that are being created around us.”

The United States Food and Drug Administration has already banned antibacterial and antimicrobial chemicals from being added to soaps.

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Dee Dee Dunleavy
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