It seems like it’s hard these days to select a dish soap, hand soap or household cleaner that doesn’t tout anti-bacterial properties. Check the active ingredients and you will likely find triclosan. This compound is very useful for eliminating germs in hospitals, but many worry that widespread use will hamper its efficacy and contribute to further antibacterial resistance1. For regular household use, antibiotics in these products are unnecessary. Washing our hands with soap and water alone has been shown to remove dirt and germs alike and is supported by the Mayo Clinic2.
Overuse of Antibiotics Leads to Ineffectiveness
Of course, antibiotics have there place and can be invaluable in countering bacterial infections, but increasingly, they are losing their effectiveness. Stronger and stronger medications are needed as patients and their doctors are faced with growing numbers of antibiotic-resistant superbugs. Reasons for this problem include, but are not limited to, the unnecessary use of antibiotics in household products, antibiotic prescriptions for non-bacterial infections, and the use of antibiotics in food animals. Repeated overuse of antibiotics selects for more virulent, drug-resistant strains of the organisms that we are trying to eliminate.
When you shop for hand soap, bath soap, hand lotions, dishwashing detergents, surface cleaners, toothbrushes, linens, towels, children’s toys and more, try to select items that are free of antibacterial agents (and possibly even environmentally friendly). Sometimes it can be hard to find soaps, cleaners, and household goods untainted by antibacterial agents, but if you look carefully you can find them…
Know Your Food
Now, another place where you might not expect to find antibiotics is in your meat products. Commercially raised chickens, pigs, cattle, dairy cows, and others contain antibiotics in their feed as part of their normal diet. Buying locally raised meat and chicken at a local farmers’ market is a good way to avoid antibiotics, as well as, growth hormone and other fillers. Visit the Matthews Community Farmers’ Market on North Trade Street, in Downtown Matthews, NC for fresh, locally produced free-range eggs, pastured pork, grass-fed beef, produce, and more. Come shop with your neighbors, support the local community, and save antibiotics for treating bacterial infections.