Many advertisements claiming beneficial effects of the so-called antibacterial soap are advertised on television. Actually it has never been proved that these soaps have any advantage over ordinary ones. Maybe, these antibacterial soaps could kill some germs; if they remained in contact with skin for two or three hours, but in the few minutes after the soap is washed away, they can hardly have any effect. Not even for a minute, and certainly not for 24-hour, as claimed by certain companies.

On the other hand, laboratory studies have shown that the antibacterial soap can actually create bacterial resistance to antibiotics which would have an adverse effect on medical treatment of the person using these soaps. Antibacterial soap may also irritate or sensitize the skin and cause allergic reactions.

Some animal studies have shown that if these cleansers and chemicals are absorbed through the skin, they can alter the hormonal balance in the body. There is no proof of any beneficial effects of these anti-bacterial soaps over the ordinary soap. It is imperative that Pakistan Food and Drug Agency puts a ban on their use and on their advertisements till the manufacturers can conclusively prove their effectiveness and harmlessness.

DR ZAHEER ASGAHR KHAN,

Lahore, December 17.