Your dirty hands can harbor millions of germs, but simply washing your hands with regular soap—making sure you vigorously rub them together for 30 seconds—will slough enough microbes down the drain to cut that number to the tens of thousands.
Assuming you don't then lick your hands, you're probably safe at this point, but there's still some risk. "Most pathogenic organisms cause disease when the numbers ingested are in the thousands to 10,000," says Dial Soap's manager of microbiology, George Fischler. Dial lab tests have shown that antibacterial soap, which most frequently uses the germ-killing agent triclosan, will, if used properly, reduce the number of germs on your hands to a few thousand.
But Allison Aiello of the University of Michigan School of Public Health isn't convinced. Her lab, she says, has found no germ-killing benefit from triclosan over regular soap alone, even after three minutes of scrubbing.
If you're worried about runoff from antibacterial hand soap creating super-bacteria, your drainpipes are safe. Aiello and her colleagues have identified only a few bacterial strains resistant to triclosan or other household antibacterial products, and those were only in controlled laboratory settings primed for growing bacteria.
"Aiello and her colleagues have identified only a few bacterial strains resistant to triclosan"
... and those strains will be the only ones left if triclosan comes into regular use. Overuse of antibacterials for any reason is a bad idea.
In more macroscopic news ... I work on io9, a new science fiction blog from Gawker Media, and we did a post recently that might be of interest to your readers: It's a new installment of our "ask a biogeek" column, exploring the realities of terraforming and other large-scale biology and ecology developments.
Here's the link:
[ http://io9.com/394481/where-are-my-bioengineered-ecologies ]
Where the ones resistant in laboratory settings there for years, or did they develop resistance in a few days/weeks? Because even if ones in the real world develop slower, they do have all of time to do it in.
Popular Science needs to stop giving credence to the idea that anti-bacterial agents create "super" bacteria.
People need to understand how natural selection works. When we do anything, even washing with ordinary soap, that impedes the bacteria's reproduction we create selection pressure that drives the bacteria to evolve around obstacle. However, the selection pressure only creates an evolution change for that obstacle. Nothing else in the bacteria changes except by random chance.
For example, using triclosan only creates pressure to evolve a resistance to triclosan. It doesn't otherwise make the bacteria more lethal. Over the last century our practice of washing with ordinary soap has not made bacteria more lethal, it has merely forced them to evolve a better means of surviving in a soapy environment.
If triclosan isn't actual effective against bacteria it won't have any evolutionary effect on them at all.
Triclosan is marketing to obsessive compulsives. Kitchens and bathrooms are not hospitals, and it takes professional techniques to make operating tables reasonably free from bacteria.
1/2 of the population (guess) prepares raw meat on the kitchen cutting board and forgets to wash the board or the knife used. Maybe they give a quick wipe. Those utensils will have billions of bacteria within 30 minutes. Ever thought about the bottom of the silverware drainer?
Do people really wash their hands for 30 seconds, like a surgeon? Do they scrub under their nails? Most hospital staff don't wash their hands between patients, for any amount of time. Stethescopes hang around doctor's necks without ever being washed.
We have to know that our immune systems are what keep us alive. Washing can make a marginal difference. Triclosan makes no difference in the home.
Let's not even think about restaurants, the bathroom glass, and toothbrushes.
The kitchen is probably dirtier than the bathroom, germ wise. Kitchen sponges and rags are usually the dirtiest items in a kitchen and help spread germs. They should frequently be soaked for at least 10 minutes in a bleach water solution. A cutting board can be effectively cleaned with full strength vinegar. Vinegar and water with a bit of tea tree oil in a spray bottle works well in general kitchen cleaning. Bleach works better when diluted with water then at full strength. Plain soap or an alcohol based hand sanitizer is fine for hand cleaning.
Take a tip from Japanese and take those shoes off at the front door to prevent tracking germs into the house.
i dont even think, in some cases of washing my hands. i mean really, OK, its kinda gross, but after preparing meat, food or anyhting i do wsh ym hands. but, its noweres near 30 nor is it the best scrubbing. i think eventually people should use there own immune systems. my dad is a germaphobe, maybe thats why im the opposite. but, he always gets really cocky when i touch this subject"do you know how many colds ive had this year? 0" but, what makes me mad is that when you do get somthing its gonna be somthing resistant to your soap, and then your immune system aint gonna be there to help you.
in my oppinion, i like moderation, like kinda washing your hands, but if your anything like me, whose sicknesses is only 1 cold a year or so, do your part of not hehe
According to some experts, germs are actually good for you, because without exposure to them the body's immune system would be weaker. Ever noticed that toddlers tend to put everything within arm's reach into their mouths? Some research has suggested that this behavior functions to build up the body's defenses.
Good job! THANKS! You guys do a great website, and have some great contents. Keep up the good work.
http://www.akdeniznakliyat.com.tr : evden eve nakliyat
I recommend everyone who has benefited me a lot of information here. Thank you ..