Antimicrobial agents in our daily lives
Apart from antibiotics, we are confronted with other antimicrobial agents in our daily lives.
Just think of the products you use every day:
- Antibacterial soap
- Facial cleansing products
- Acne cream
- Silver patches ...
All these products may contain antibacterial components such as Triclosan, Silver and/or Alumin(i)um. All of these antibacterial compounds kill a broad spectrum of bacteria and viruses, which means they kill our good microbiota as well. But not only that, they may cause a number of severe side effects!
Triclosan is suspected to increase the risk of breast cancer; traces of it can be found in breast milk and it influences our hormones. In the U.S. it is banned (by the FDA) but not in Europe. Aluminium, if applied as salts, is also suspected to promote breast cancer and it has even been linked to Alzheimer's disease! If applied as nano-particles, the side effects are still unknown.
So before using or purchasing personal care products, you may want to have a closer look at the ingredients.
Furthermore, washing your hands with normal soap is more than enough to clean your hands; you don't always need to use an antibacterial agent, and you especially don’t need disinfectants (except if you work in health care)!
I just recently saw an advertisement for a toothpaste that promotes the presence of good bacteria in my mouth. Maybe I'll try that one and let you know if it works!