FDA Wants Proof that Sanitizers Actually Work

We’ve talked about this on this blog before… there really isn’t any proof that sanitizers actually work. I’m guessing that the FDA has read my blog 🙂 because they are now asking for proof that these so called disinfectants actually do work.

The FDA isn’t saying that they don’t work, they are just asking manufacturers to provide proof that they actually do; proof that they are going to have a hard time providing because studies have shown that 1. the alcohol in the disinfectants has to be on the surface for much longer than it is in almost all instances and 2. germs and bacteria that aren’t killed produce super germs that are now immune.

Check out the full article at http://www.today.com/health/fda-wants-proof-hand-sanitizers-work-t100392


Deadly Pneumonia tied to Windshield Washer Fluid

Researchers into the causes of deadly pneumonia realized that it was caused by the legionnaires’ disease bacteria. What they couldn’t figure out was why it seemed to be connected to riding in the car.

A new report seems to have found the answer and it’s rather strange. Apparently it’s the windshield washer fluid. The windshield washer fluid seems to be a breeding ground for the deadly bacteria. When you spray that fluid the bacteria become airborne. In one study in Arizona, 3/4 of the school buses tested had bacteria levels high enough to cause an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease.

Health officials aren’t issuing a safety precaution as of yet saying that further study is needed. With the warmer weather coming, or already here, however, it is important that awareness spread.

Legionnaires’ disease is more prevalent in the summer than in the winter. This is partly because the bacteria multiplies faster in warmer water but it is also because warmer weather means open windows in vehicles. When the window is open and the driver sprays the window with windshield washer fluid, people are exposed, either through splatters or through the airborne bacteria.

It seems like only common sense to close the windows when spraying fluid on the windshield, being especially cautious when elderly people or people with weakened immune system are riding in the car.

Read more about this issue here.

Antibacterial Soaps to be banned?

We’ve mentioned this before (See the blog post here), antibacterial soaps simply don’t work. There is absolutely no proof that they help prevent the spread of germs.

In spite of this, they seem to be everywhere, even in supermarkets and small stores for patrons to use to supposedly protect from germs. And therein lies the problem. Because the widespread use of antibacterial soaps the FDA is now looking at imposing stricter controls because the main active ingredient triclosan seems to be interfering with hormone levels and helping produce “super bugs” that resistant to drugs.

The FDA is now going to require manufacturers of antibacterial soaps to show proof that their products are more effective in fighting germs than soap and regular water alone. If they can not do so they will have to relabel, reformulate or remove the products from market.

Unfortunately this isn’t going to happen overnight. Manufacturers apparently have until the end of 2016, three years from now, to respond. That’s three years of these products potentially continuing to produce bacteria that isn’t going to respond to antibiotics and other drugs. It might be a little too little a little too late.


Have you ever heard of “Saxophone Lung”?


Saxophone lung? Chances are that you’ve never heard of it. Saxophone Lung is a relatively rare condition caused by bacteria and mold build up inside a wind instrument.

An article in the Huffpost, for example, details a man who, never having cleaned his saxophone for over 30 years, developed a persistent cough and wheezing that wouldn’t clear up, even after being given steroids.

Though this example is somewhat extreme (really?!?! 30 years playing an instrument that you spit in every time you play it and you don’t ever clean it? Yuk!) similar cases have been documented.

Basic lesson here is if you’re going to play a wind instrument clean it with alcohol regularly to control bacteria and mold build up.

CDC Seriously Worried about Antibiotic Resistance

CDC just released Threat Report 2013 outlining in a 114 page document (available for download) the very real dangers of antibiotic resistant bacteria.

A few facts from the National Summary Data section:

  • Over 2 million people will get sick from antibiotic resistant bacteria this year.
  • 23,000 of those will die
  • Most deaths related to antibiotic resistance happen in healthcare settings, such as hospitals and nursing homes.

When antibiotics are administered to treat an illness, the antibiotics kill the bacteria causing the illness as well as the good bacteria in your body that fight diseases. The few bacteria that aren’t killed, no longer face any opposition from your good bacteria and “take over”.

Right now, the hazard level is listed as serious but… “If infection rates of MDR and XDR TB increase within the US., this antibiotic-resistant threat will change from serious to urgent, because it is transmissible through respiratory secretions, and because treatment options are very limited”

Download and read the entire document from the CDC website here.

That which is supposed to protect may be harming instead

Apparently the expression “That which does not kill me makes me stronger” is something that makers of hand soap and disinfectants need to be paying attention to. It applies to germs as well. It has long be preached by naturalists and proponents of fiber cleaning cloths that disinfectants are simply creating stronger, more resistant germs.

A new study now has scientific backing to that claim.

Excerpts from the abstract:

“it has been demonstrated that biocides can select, at least in laboratory experiments, antibiotic resistant bacteria… widely used biocide triclosan might induce antibiotic resistance using as a model the opportunistic pathogen Stenotrophomonas maltophilia… “

You can read more about it for yourself by clicking on the link above. Right now the FDA is reassessing triclosan’s safety and beginning to take a look at many others.

In my humble opinion this is one issue we can’t afford to drag our feet on. No one wants super viruses and germs that nothing will kill.


Stumble It! Digg! Add to Mixx! Pownce

Apparently little boys who believe that little girls have cooties may not be so far off the mark.

A new study from the University of Colorado found that women have a wider range of bacteria on their hands then men do. The average number of bacteria on a person’s hand? 150 different species of bacteria.

Also strange is the fact that the left and the right hand only have less then 20% of the bacteria in common.

Now, before we all start panicking, researchers stress the fact that by far the vast majority of the bacteria were harmless or beneficial. Harmful bacteria numbers were actually only a small percentage of the total bacteria.

Researchers are at a lost to explain why there is such a difference between men and women. Various theories such as the difference in acidity of the skin (men tend to have more acidic skin than women), cosmetics, hand creams and hormone production have yet to be tested.

Of the 4,742 species of bacteria indentified only 5 are common to everyone. The researchers samples 51 people, taking samples from each hand for a total of 102 hands.

While health officials stress the importance of hand washing, especially in this fly season, research has also shown that hand washing does not eliminate bacteria. Said one researcher: “Either the bacterial colonies rapidly re-establish after hand washing, or washing (as practiced by the students included in this study) does not remove the majority of bacteria taxa found on the skin surface,”

So, guys, although holding hands with your girlfriend or wife might not be the healthiest thing to do, I believe that trying to tell her that you aren’t holding her hand because of all the “cooties” on her hand might be even more unhealthy J