Why is it we’re plagued with cold after cold when we try so hard to avoid those pesky germs? We ask Rachel, our resident biologist, why all the antibacterial soap in the world can’t keep the bugs away…
Awe, little baby sneezes are so cute. My adult sneezes, not so much. Not when they are accompanied by so much snot. You’ve been there – don’t give me that look. Apparently my vigilant hand washing did me no good once again. Dang it. This tissue box owns me! Why meeeee?
Okay, that was a little too much drama for a teeny cold, but I have a point. Why do so many people still get sick with so much antibacterial soap floating around? I have an answer. I’ll explain with bunnies:
Elmer Fudd wants to ‘kill de wabbit’ — so he does (this story is not rated PG) — not so smart wabbits die — smart wabbits live — smart wabbits breed and outwit Elmer over and over.
So Bugs Bunny is making me sick? Yup. Bacteria is getting stronger with our help. Triclosan is an ‘antibacterial’ agent added to almost all hand soap on the shelves – go ahead, take a look at yours. According to studies (done by scientists with microscopes and stuff), bacteria have now become resistant to it. They say that soap with triclosan is no more effective in keeping your snot away than good old-fashioned regular soap.
It is hardly a cause for mass panic, but it makes you want to scratch your head and wonder – why am I using this stuff? And with triclosan’s recent link to possible reproductive problems in male aquatic life (from the junk washed into our water supply), I think I’ll have to pass. I would not, after all, be too excited if my mate’s reproduction went askew. Eek.
The moral of the story is this – triclosan is no longer glamorous, but hand washing still is. Rest assured that the simple act of scrubbing with water and any soapy stuff still cleans away a lot. Unfortunately, though, this time I must have gotten one of those strong pesky wabbits.