Germ and Bacteria Hot-Spots: 12 Things You Should Know
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Should You Use Antibacterial Products?
Not unless someone in the house is sick. A recent study found no difference in infectious disease rates in 228 households that used antibacterial items (hand-washing soaps, cleaners, laundry detergent) versus those that used regular products. Plus, there's a potential drawback: A number of studies have suggested that triclosan, an ingredient used in many antibacterial items, may actually foster resistance to many germs. The researchers concluded they're useful only if someone in your home is ill or has a skin or gastrointestinal ailment. Otherwise, Larson says, alcohol- and bleach-based products work best at killing germs without promoting the growth of dangerous "super bugs."
Originally published in Fitness magazine, January 2006.
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