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Infection Control

Study: Antibacterial soap significantly reduces bacteria

November 22, 2011
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WASHINGTON — Handwashing with antibacterial soap produces statistically greater reductions in bacteria on the skin when compared to using non-antibacterial soap, according to a press release.

Those are the findings of a review of two dozen relevant published studies — analyzing the effectiveness of antibacterial soaps — featured in the November 2011 edition of the peer-reviewed Journal of Food Protection, the release stated.

According to the release, researchers Donald Schaffner and Rebecca Montville of Rutgers University''s Food Science Department conducted a quantitative analysis of existing data in order to determine if there was a difference in effectiveness between antibacterial and non-antibacterial soaps.

"A difference in the effectiveness of antimicrobial and non-antimicrobial soaps appears to exist and is repeatedly observed through a variety of analyses; antimicrobial soap is consistently and statistically always more effective than non-antimicrobial soap," the researchers wrote.

"Although differences in efficacy between antimicrobial and non-antimicrobial soap may be relatively small, they do exist, and small but significant differences in pathogen levels on hands can have a significant effect on public health," Schaffner and Montville added.

Click here to read the complete release.

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