19 Harmful Chemicals in Antibacterial Soap – Compounds – Cautions

Have you ever got yourself get to the shop and picking up one antibacterial soap, thinking you are protecting your family? I know many of us do. I certainly do, in one way or another. I think it is a good way to protect the health of my loved ones. After all, anti bacterial soap is a cheap price to pay knowing that my little kid would be running around happy and healthy, isn’t it? Oh how I was innocent.

In 2016, Food and Drugs associations (FDA) decided to ban no less than 19 chemicals in antibacterial soaps that are quite harmful for our body and our health. It will be very wise of you to start reconsidering your decision to stack these things in your house. Little did we know, ordinary soaps that are even cheaper and ubiquitous are just as effective as anti bacterial soaps when it comes to killing germs. Not to mention : They are healthy and safe!

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If you want to know 19 harmful chemicals that they put in these antibacterial soaps, you could dig deeper here.Here are the Lists of Chemicals Banned by FDA in Antibacterial Soaps:

1. Clofucarban 

The first harmful chemicals in antibacterial soap is Clofucarban also known as halocarban, Clofucarban is number one list in the chemicals banned by FDA in antibacterial soaps. It is possibly dangerous for our skin. You can find clofucarban in antimicrobial soaps and deodorants, even though nowadays less and less antimicrobial soaps using these chemicals. The formula of this substance is C14H9Cl2F3N2O, while the IUPAC name is 1-(4-chlorophenyl)-3-[4-chloro-3-(trifluoromethyl)phenyl]urea.

2. Fluorosalan 

Harmful chemicals in antibacterial soap is Fluorosalan or known as flusalan, is chemical compound with molecular formula C14 H8 Br2 F3 No2 and molecular weight 439.026 g/mol. This chemical is usually used in soaps industry and has been stated unsafe for the skin by FDA.

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3. Hexachlorophene 

Hexachlorophene (a.k.a Nabac) is an organochlorine compound that was once widely used as disinfectant. It is white odorless solid and insoluble in water (It dissolves in acetone, ethanol, diethyl ether and chloroform though). In medicine, hexachlorophene is used as an anti-infective, anti-bacterial agent, and often used in soaps and toothpaste. Since 2016, Hexachlorophene has been stated by a compound that is not safe for our antibacterial soaps by FDA. That is one of the harmful chemicals in antibacterial soap.

4. Hexylresorcinol 

Hexylresorcinol is an organic compound with anaesthetic, antiseptic and anthelmintic properties. It is available for use usually on small skin infections. You can find this compound with C12H18O2 and 194.27 mollar mass in several products such as beauty products and anti-aging cream. This chemical compound has also found that it is resemble action of estrogen ( female sex hormones). Just like another compounds on this list, FDA banned this chemical compound because it is suspiciously dangerous for our skin if used continually.

5. Iodine complex (ammonium ether sulfate and polyoxyethylene sorbitan monolaurate)

Iodine complex is one of the way you could make your body healthy, literally. Your body needs iodine and cannot make it on its own, so consuming these complex in tablets definitely wont harm you. But what if you put these iodine complex in your antibacterial soaps? Well, the fact that this compound is one of the chemical compound that is getting banned by FDA indicates that it is not the best ingredients for your soaps.

6. Iodine complex (phosphate ester of alkylaryloxy polyethylene glycol)

Phospate ester of alkylaryloxy polyethylene glycol is definitely banned from anti bacterial soap, once again, indicating that these compound is not good for you and your skin if you use it continually.

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7. Povidone-iodine 5 to 10 percent 

Povidone-iodine (PVP-I) a.k.a iodopovidone is an antiseptic used for skin disinfection before and after surgery. Usually, you can use this chemical as liquid and put in your skin. The health provider usually also using this chemical to make sure that they are clean. Povidone-iodine 5 to 10 percent is banned by FDA because of its effects when it is used in antibacterial soaps. However, the percentage below 5 percent is actually okay because this chemical could kill germs and bacteria very effectively.

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8. Phenol (Greater than 1.5 percent)

Phenol, also known as carbolic acid, is an aromatic organic compound with the molecular formula C₆H₅OH. It is a white crystalline solid that is volatile. The molecule consists of a phenyl group bonded to a hydroxyl group. Using phenol in antibacterial soaps is dangerous when you don’t know the exact amount to put it. The good amount is 1.5 percent, while greater and less than 1.5 percent could be consider harmful.

9. Sodium oxychlorosene 

This chemical compound usually used in localized infections, particularly when resistant organism present. Usually, people just apply it into the skin by spray, soaks, wet or rub. However, when you put this particular compound in antibacterial soaps, you can face some risks that is not completely healthy for you.

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10. Triclocarban

Triclocarban is an antibacterial agents commonly used in lotions, make up or other skin care products. The studies of its effects and mechanisms are growing nowadays and apparently, the harmful side of this compound are beginning to be discovered. This is proven by FDA’s actions of banning this particular compound in the presence of antibacterial soaps.

11. Triclosan

Triclosan is actually a commonly used chemical compound in our everyday life. You can find triclosan in various products by Johnson&Johnson, make up, lotion, skin care products, etc. However, this particular chemical compound has been found dangerous by several research done by scientists and other local researchers. Other than harmful for human body, researchers found that using triclosan in your body could eventually harmed your body and even your environment.

12. Triple dye 

These 19 chemicals are proven harmful or even dangerous if is is used in antibacterial soaps. Actually, there are several studies and reasons as to why using these compounds could not be an effective choice for you, especially when you are using it in anti bacterial soaps. Here are the lists of why you should stop using anti bacterial soaps all together.

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More Hazardous Chemicals in Antibacterial Soaps

Indeed, here are more harmful chemicals in antibacterial soap that we need to avoid.

  1. Phenol (Less than 1.5 percent)
  2. Undecoylium chloride iodine complex
  3. Methylbenzethonium chloride
  4. Nonylphenoxypoly (ethyleneoxy) ethanoliodine
  5. Poloxamer-iodine complex
  6. Secondary amyltricresols
  7. Tribromsalan

Thus, we may use antibacterial soap cause it said that it kills bacteria on hands faster that any other soaps. Yet, we never know that there are many harmful chemicals in antibacterial soap.

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Cautions of Using Antibacterial Soaps

Indeed, as we know about the harmful chemicals in antibacterial soap. Now, let’s find out more details:

1. Antibacterial Soaps Kills (Almost) The Same Amount of Germs as Ordinary Soaps

According to the research that was held by FDA for a little over 42 years, it is indicated that when you are using triclosan in your soap and presented it as an anti-bacterial soaps, you are killing no more than when you are using ordinary soaps. (Well, maybe with a little difference but really, it is a chance not worthwhile to take if we think about the risk of getting triclosan in our soap). Triclosan is a little bit superior when it comes to killing bacteria, but the number is really not that significant.

2. Antibacterial soaps could results in antibiotic resistance 

FDA asks many producent to retain more research about these antibacterial soaps because they find out that these things could actually regain antibiotic resistance. When your body consume or use this soaps, at first it will do your body good by destroying all of those bad bacteria. But, if you use these products over and over again, resistance will build up and the bacteria will mutated in your body, making the use of these chemicals is not even useful but harmful and risky.

3. These chemical compound in Antibacterial Soaps could be elaborated as endocrine disruption 

Some research has shown that when you expose these chemicals to lab test animal such as frogs and rats, they will results in the disruption of the thyroid hormone. If this compounds are used in human body, researchers says that there is a risk of the human getting relatively dangerous disease such as obesity, cancer, premature ejaculation, and other unnecessary risk you could have dodge if you are not using these anti bacterial soaps.

4. Antibacterial Soaps could results in further health disturbance 

If your body is exposed to triclosan over and over again, there is a high chance that you will be getting allergies, such as peanuts allergies, and powder. Researchers speculates that when your body is using triclosan over and over again, the immune system inside your body will be affected and it’s getting lower each time. This is of course a good indication that you should just stop consuming or using these antibacterial soaps further, to protect your immune system.

Also read: Common Chemicals Used at Home

5. Antibacterial soaps are not good for environment 

Because of the high amount of triclosan that could be found in everyday waste, our environment suffer to a certain degree. Triclosan could actually makes the process of photosyntesis blocked and of course this is not good for our plants and environment. In 2009, Researcher that are examining bottle mouth dolphin, found that they have high amount of dangerous chemical compound in the dolphin’s blood. This is of course indicating that once again : the use of triclosan and another dangerous chemical compound in our soaps are actually not needed and need to be stop.

Also read: Importance of Chemistry in Environment

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