Personal Care Products

No. Doctors recommend against using antibacterial soaps. According to the Canadian Medical Association, the use of these products may cause germs to become more resistant to antibiotics. The CMA General Council passed a resolution in 2009 calling for a ban on household antibacterial products (see the CMA resolution below).

Antibacterial soaps are also unnecessary.  Washing hands thoroughly with regular soap and water is all that is needed. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are the next best alternative when a sink is not available. Read the label. Watch for words like "anti-bacterial," "anti-microbial," or "bacteria-fighting" and avoid these products.

Antibacterial (or “antimicrobial”) products often contain triclosan, a chemical suspected of disrupting normal hormone function. 

Resolution 74 adopted by the General Council of the Canadian Medical Association, August 2009: “The Canadian Medical Association calls upon the federal government to ban the sale of household antibacterial products due to the risk of bacterial resistance and to recognize that soap and alcohol-based solutions are as effective in preventing household infection.”

Answer Author: 
Erica Phipps, Randee Holmes, Kathleen Cooper