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agtle

@teksavvy.com
reply to mr weather

Re: Anti-microbial soap recalled over microbial contamination

said by mr weather:

I never understood the point of having triclosan in soap. The act of hand washing is simply too fast for it to be bactericidal. Things like alcohols and quaternary ammonium compounds (i.e. benzalkonium chloride) kill on contact. Triclosan needs to be "ingested" by the bacteria for it to work.

I think the assumption is that people are not that great about doing a proper job of washing their hands (duration, temp, rinsing, etc.). Enough sticks around to be (mildly) effective.


Gone
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join:2011-01-24
Fort Erie, ON
kudos:4
said by agtle :

I think the assumption is that people are not that great about doing a proper job of washing their hands (duration, temp, rinsing, etc.). Enough sticks around to be (mildly) effective.

Temperature doesn't even matter, as the temperature needed to have any effect on bacteria would scald you long before there's any benefit. It's all about duration of the scrubbing.


Wolfie00
My dog is an elitist
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said by Gone:

Temperature doesn't even matter, as the temperature needed to have any effect on bacteria would scald you long before there's any benefit. It's all about duration of the scrubbing.

Quite true, and not to quibble, but temperature affects the lathering and cleaning performance of soap so it's important in that respect. Surgical scrubs generally use water that is as hot as practicable for the duration of the necessary 3- to 5-minute scrub.

graniterock
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join:2003-03-14
London, ON
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said by Wolfie00:

said by Gone:

Temperature doesn't even matter, as the temperature needed to have any effect on bacteria would scald you long before there's any benefit. It's all about duration of the scrubbing.

Quite true, and not to quibble, but temperature affects the lathering and cleaning performance of soap so it's important in that respect. Surgical scrubs generally use water that is as hot as practicable for the duration of the necessary 3- to 5-minute scrub.

It's also important to recognize that sanitation at a the surgical level has a different goal than sanitizing at home. Some level of bacteria is OK at home (even good). Any level of bacteria in an OR is really bad because you are dealing with compromised immune systems while introducing bacteria to the body via unusual routes.


Wolfie00
My dog is an elitist
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I agree with both your points. Just so it doesn't get lost in the noise, I should re-iterate that triclosan and chemically related substances used in home antibacterial soaps have potential systemic health effects as well as the potential for promoting bacterial resistance, and I personally think the former is even more persuasive than the latter, but studies are ongoing.

Incidentally, while alcohol is an excellent antibacterial agent, its efficacy is greatly enhanced by small amounts of water -- i.e.- anhydrous alcohol that is nearly 100% pure isn't as effective as when there is water present. Just an interesting counter-intuitive fact.


Black Box

join:2002-12-21
reply to Gone
said by Gone:

said by agtle :

I think the assumption is that people are not that great about doing a proper job of washing their hands (duration, temp, rinsing, etc.). Enough sticks around to be (mildly) effective.

Temperature doesn't even matter, as the temperature needed to have any effect on bacteria would scald you long before there's any benefit. It's all about duration of the scrubbing.

Temperature matters as it softens the dirt and helps the soap to bind to the oily molecules better. You can feel the difference after washing with hot water in contrast with cold water.
--
Keep It Safe, Stupid!
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Gone
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Fort Erie, ON
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said by Black Box:

Temperature matters as it softens the dirt and helps the soap to bind to the oily molecules better. You can feel the difference after washing with hot water in contrast with cold water.

Temperature makes zero difference as far as the ability to kill bacteria. In fact, numerous studies have shown that the bacteria on one's hand before and after washing is the same no matter if cold or hot water has been used. The only time a difference is measured is related to the length of time one scrubs their hands.

In other words, washing for ten seconds with hot water is worse than washing for 30 seconds with cold water.


Black Box

join:2002-12-21
10 for 30 is likely worse, but 30 for 30 is definitely better. It's the removal of foreign material that's making the difference for hot water. More removed means less bacteria left behind.
--
Keep It Safe, Stupid!
Yes, I CanChat. Can You?


Gone
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join:2011-01-24
Fort Erie, ON
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No, it's not "definitely better" - in fact, it makes no difference at all.

»www.nytimes.com/2009/10/13/healt···eal.html

»www.abc.net.au/science/articles/···0122.htm

The whole idea that you need hot water to wash yourself or even clothes has been a myth longer than any of us have been alive, yet even as far back as the 1930s people were starting to figure out that it's washing action, not temperature, that cleans. The one study linked to from the NYT article even mentions that using cooler water is not only beneficial as far as your skin goes, but even has "economic benefits"

I'm obviously not going to convince you otherwise, but regardless of what anyone may think, I have zero issue washing my hands with much more comfortable to me cool or lukewarm water, and am confident knowing my hands are just as clean as anyone else who washes the same way in hot water.