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Antibacterial Hand Sanitizer May Actually Make You Sicker

Before you reach for that hand sanitizer, consider this: rather than killing germs, that action is actually more likely to make you – and society – sicker.

What is worse, perhaps the most comprehensive study of the effectiveness of antibiotic and non-antibiotic soaps in the U.S., led by Elaine Larson at Columbia University (with Aiello as a coauthor), found that while for healthy hand washers there was no difference between the effects of the two, for chronically sick patients (those with asthma and diabetes, for example) antibiotic soaps were actually associated with increases in the frequencies of fevers, runny noses and coughs [4]. In other words, antibiotic soaps appeared to have made those patients sicker. Let me say that again: Most people who use antibiotic soap are no healthier than those who use normal soap. AND those individuals who are chronically sick and use antibiotic soap appear to get SICKER.

Rob Dunn wrote a guest blog over at Scientific America that every germophobe should read: Link (Illustration: Don Smith) – via We, Beasties

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Date
August 7th, 2011

Author
Stranger to the World

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