Now, in the words of the producers, it is possible (and even recommended!) to live in a sanitized home, since the products that they sell “eliminate 99.9% of bacteria” and that, whatever the surface. In the kitchen, in the shower, in the bathroom, the toilet, these products are everywhere! Sure: the “antibacterial” argument sells! And yet …

No more effective than soap

“I do not see a good eye the addition of antiseptic – antibacterial – in everyday products, “said Professor Anne Simon, a microbiologist and medical officer, responsible for Quality and Patient Safety Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc in Brussels. She points different reasons. Firstly, their alleged greater efficiency. “In terms of personal hygiene, products containing antiseptics have not demonstrated superior efficacy to a conventional washing soap. They eliminate 99.9% of the bacteria? Water also! For example, the bacteria hands do not resist a good wash for several minutes with mild soap and water … As for the body, why would disinfect? ​​Should we really kill our own bacteria, which live in harmony with our body and protect our skin And do not even talk about these antibacterial soaps for intimate areas of women presented as selective: antibacterials are not specific, they then attack the whole essential bacterial flora, including lactobacilli that ensure maintaining a acidic vaginal pH to protect it! And if they want to ‘kill’ other bacteria, which? I wonder … ”

A little elbow grease

And in terms of cleaning products? “Again, use cleaning products with antiseptics is not more effective than cleaning with water and a conventional detergent, provided you use clean cloths and mops! Ditto for laundry products or washing machines who want bactericidal: If the machine is too dirty, simply provide a higher temperature program … ”

As for the kitchen, asepsis is not necessary! There are a few precautions, such as when you cut raw chicken often salmonella carrier, on a cutting board, you have to clean it before using it for something else. “But still no need antiseptic for the cause: a clean cloth, warm water, detergent soap and elbow grease, and you’ll have it for the rest, washing hands regularly with soap! classic, especially before preparing food or eating, is more than enough! Taking classic precautions, there is no more risk than with more aggressive products. ”

Too hygiene? Not useful!

The problem is that manufacturers are trying to make us believe that bacteria are dangerous. “They play on an unfounded fear and maintain I think they surf on campaigns to limit the use of antibiotics. There said that bacteria are becoming increasingly resistant, potentially dangerous Also, simply. to suggest to the public that we must therefore remove them so as not to be in contact with them and risking big … “, says Dr. Simon. And then there’s the obsession with “zero risk” …

For wanting force while disinfecting, one still may increase the resistance of these bacteria. “This is already the case, but studies on the subject are not yet sufficient to see the clinical impact of these longer-term strength.” Triclosan, an antibacterial widely used in these products, including soaps, is also accused of increasing the resistance and thereby promote the development of more aggressive bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus.

Let us add this risk, environmental impact, with wastewater charge of bactericides and repressed in the rivers, which will eliminate the essential bacteria to biodegradation. Or the effect on the food chain …

Finally, do not forget the risk of allergy, which is favored by too little exposure to viruses and bacteria in childhood …

few cases where they can be helpful

In some situations, however, Simon Anne is more flexible. For example, dentifrices. “Some people have really bad breath problems despite effective brushing because of certain types of bacteria. In their case, one can possibly think of a toothpaste with antiseptic,” she concède-.

Ditto for deodorants. As we know, the perspiration odor is caused by bacteria that are eliminated by good personal hygiene, simple soap. “But certain specific bacteria may be stronger and give a particular odor. People who suffer from this problem can then consider a deodorant enriched ‘antiseptics. Finally, some men see appear after shaving, small buttons that can become infected. In this case, a shaving foam with antibacterial can limit that risk. ” so specific cases that have absolutely not justify that we continue to play the sorcerer’s apprentice into believing everyone that these products are more effective than simple solutions, and attempting to generalize!

By Carine Maillard