Are anti-bacterial cleaners evil?

Do they really kill bacteria without promoting mutations? Don’t we need bacteria to keep our immune systems ticking over? Are the chemicals more dangerous than the bacteria?

IANAD, but my sister is. From talking to her, I’d say that general consensus among the medical community is that antibacterial soaps, room sprays, etc., etc., are contributing to the problem. But nobody really knows for sure how much they contribute compared to doctors who irresponsibly prescribe antibiotics for common colds and other medically unnecessary reasons.

But in either case, the antibacterial products are not, themselves, evil. The use of them might be, if the negative effects could be proven.

As far as I know, bacteriacidal cleaners and antibiotics aren’t mutagenic; that is, they don’t cause mutations. However, overuse of thse products certainly can create strains of resistant bacteria. If in a give colony there are some fraction of a percent of individual cells which are resistant to the chemicals, they will survive, and each use invreases the concentration of this resistant strain. After a while, the resistant strain will completely dominate, at which point your bacteriacide or antibiotic becomes useless. this is, of course, somehwat simplified, but you should get the general idea of the principle at work here.

Before the Docs get in here and slam I’ll put this out.

We’ve done this topic before. I wont tax the servers with a several year old search.

From what I gleaned before was:

Yes there are bacterial colonies on your skin like in other organs that are better left un disrupted.

There is little chance of resistant strains developing from the use of “disinfectants”

If you work in ahigh risk field, better safe than sorry.

Some bacteria can become resistant to mechanisims previously thought invunrable.

My conclusion was, we risk the possibility of developing an non suspectable organism by wasting our natural biota with high tech soap.

There is no chance of organisms developing a “resistance” to disinfectants like alcohol and clorox.

Some of the antibiotics found commonly in soaps “are” suspect and bactieria have been noted to be developing resistances.

As to the OP, is it our domain to shepard every iota of life down to the microbial?

I duno

I’ve always understood anti-bacterial cleansers were bad. I could be wrong, but my analogy makes it all make sense in my little noggin:

You’ve got some kind of infection and the doctor puts you on antibiotics for ten days. After four, you see a major difference. After six, symptoms are gone. But you have to KEEP taking them until the end of the ten days. Why? Because the little buggy things that I’m killing aren’t completely dead. And if I stop now, they’ve survived my dose of antibiotics. Therefore, I’ve made the little buggy things strong and more immune to a future round of antibiotics.

So! I’m figuring it’s the same as the bacteria that wasn’t completely killed with the soap, cleanser, spritz, whatever. After all, you know the saying:

“If it doesn’t kill ya, it will only make you stronger.”

By wasting I of course meant killing. I blame my upbringing for the “gangsta” lapse.

Cheeky, as I understand it, that doesn’t kill us results in joint pain.

Interesting bit of related trivia -

If you contract TB, you can be forced to undergo medical treatment because of the risk of an epidimic. Most people expect that. But the interesting thing is that the medical staff is actually legally required to verify that you completed the full antibacterial regiment, and didn’t just stop taking them when the symptoms cleared up. The reason, of course, being that they want to make sure that the 100% of the TB is killed. The last thing we want is for some AB resistant TB strain to be floating around out there because some crazy homeless guy didn’t finish taking his meds.

Nice information Cadop but WTF does it have to do with the OP?

More context guy.