Prompt: Antibacterial products worsen the problem of resistant bacteria.

Essay by jmvglickmanA+, May 2004

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Antibacterial products have been familiar to health care professionals in clinical settings, but it is relatively new to the household environment. Advertisements and marketing schemes make antibacterial products seem more effective and appealing to the public. Most people now believe that using antibacterial products are more effective than just regular soaps. Adverstisers boast how anitbacterial soaps such as Dial are guranteed and clinically proven to kill 99.9% of bacteria. Beauty bars like Olay are able to mositurize your skin and make you look younger but do they do the job? Moisiturizing soaps used to be the fad, but today, antibacterial soaps are found everywhere. Antibacterial soap can be found in the most luxurious restaurants and hotels as well as in the local McDonald's or Motel 6. A bathroom or kitchen is not complete without antibacterial soap by the faucet. While visiting a friend's townhouse, I noticed how there were two bottles of liquid soap next to the sink: an antibacterial dishwashing liquid and an antibacterial handsoap.

They also had antibacterial laundry detergent and cleaning supplies. It seems that there are so many types of antibacterial products in the consumer market. Dr. Eli Perencevich conducted a survey and "found that 76 percent of 395 liquid soaps and 29 percent of 733 bar soaps- 45 percent of soaps overall- contained antibacterial agents" (Schorr). These antibacterial agents are also present in lotions: If you walk through any Bath and Body Works store, you will find that there is a whole line of antibacterial hand lotions and gels in different scents.

        Antibacterial products may be the latest fad in cleaning and healthcare, but can it be harmful? "Some researchers and health workers are concerned that too much germ-fighting power could be hazardous to our health" (Hellinghausen). Overusing antibacterial soaps may actually worsen the problem...