The End of Hand Sanitizers?

From CNN:

I am so over this stuff.

When it comes to safety and effectiveness, the main concern with hand sanitizers is triclosan, which is the main antibacterial ingredient in nonalcoholic hand sanitizers.

“There’s no good evidence that triclosan-containing products have a benefit,” says Allison Aiello, associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Michigan. In Europe and the United States, hospitals won’t even use them, she notes; it’s thought that they don’t reduce infections or illness.

Dr. Anna Bowen, a medical epidemiologist at The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says, “Triclosan-containing products don’t provide any disease protection beyond what you get from washing with soap and water.”

Research has shown that triclosan can disrupt the endocrine system, amplifying testosterone. In animal studies, it reduced muscle strength. It may also harm the immune system. Whether these findings add up to human toxicity isn’t established yet, but the FDA is currently reviewing the issue.

About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than fifty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.

  • Erik Pasco

    Wow, that’s some “quality” journalism right there.

    Typical hand sanitizers are alcohol based. This is about the effectiveness of the active ingredient in antibacterial soap.

    For instance, Purell does not contain triclosan

  • Josh T.

    I don’t know that I’ve ever encountered non-alcohol-based hand sanitizers, though the Wikipedia article mentions it; they must not be that prevalent. Antibacterial soap is the main problem, and our family has been buying regular soap for years. The biggest issue with hand soap is that the triclosan-based stuff appears to be ubiquitous, so you will undoubtedly run into it if you are washing your hands out in public, unfortunately.