Antibiotic Resistance: A global epidemic
Resistance has eventually been documented with nearly all developed antibiotics. Rapidly emerging resistant bacteria threaten the significant health benefits that have been achieved with antibiotics. By 2050, it is projected that 10 million deaths per year will be directly attributable to antimicrobial resistance - more than cancer and traffic accidents combined.
Artificial Antibiotic Soap: The results are coming in (and they’re not good)
Triclosan is the antibacterial ingredient found in the vast majority of artificial antibacterial soaps. Multiple studies have linked triclosan - amongst other artificial household antibacterial ingredients - with the development of resistance to clinically important antimicrobials.
Artificial antibacterial soaps are not only viewed as ineffective by the scientific community, but they may be exacerbating the crisis of antibiotic resistance.
Here’s how bad artificial antibacterial soaps are: the FDA ruled in 2016 that they can no longer be marketed.
Companies will no longer be able to market... consumer antiseptic wash products containing one or more of 19 specific active ingredients, including the most commonly used ingredients – triclosan and triclocarban.
Triclosan: Health concerns (yes, there’s more)
A number of studies have found that, in various animals, triclosan appears to interfere with the body’s regulation of thyroid hormone. There are concerns that triclosan could lead to problems such as infertility, cancer, and artificially advanced early puberty. Evidence suggests that children with prolonged exposure to triclosan have a higher chance of developing allergies. Another study found evidence that triclosan interfered with muscle contractions in human cells. A 2008 survey found triclosan in the urine of 75% of people tested.
Triclosan: Environmental concerns
Small quantities of triclosan persist after treatment at sewage plants - USGS surveys have frequently detected it in streams and other bodies of water. Triclosan is fat-soluble - meaning it builds up in fatty tissues - it can biomagnify, appearing at greater levels in the tissues of animals higher up the food chain. A 2009 survey of bottlenose dolphins found concerning levels of triclosan in their blood. And guess who will end up eating triclosan-saturated food in the end?
Our response to the antibacterial resistance epidemic: You can’t out-engineer mother nature.
The Barrier® line of products are based on the scientifically proven antimicrobial properties of tea tree and eucalyptus essential oils (TTO and EO).
Tea tree oil (TTO): Mother nature’s antimicrobial
Isolated from the leaves of the tea tree - Melaleuca alternifolia - TTO has been used for thousands of years for its antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and other medically beneficial properties. TTO is amazingly complex; it contains over 98 chemical compounds and features a wide array of microbial killing mechanisms. Through the course of evolution, TTO has become an effective antibacterial, antiviral & antifungal agent. Resistance to conventional antibiotics has not been demonstrated to influence susceptibility to TTO, suggesting that cross-resistance does not occur.
In contrast, contemporary data clearly show that the broad-spectrum activity of TTO includes antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and antiprotozoal activities.
Clinical resistance to TTO has not been reported, despite the medicinal use of the oil in Australia since the 1920s.
… Resistance to conventional antibiotics has not been demonstrated to influence susceptibility to TTO… Overall, these studies provide little evidence to suggest that resistance to TTO will occur.
A paradigm shift in the treatment of infections diseases is necessary to prevent antibiotics becoming obsolete, and where appropriate, alternatives to antibiotics ought to be considered… A wealth of in vitro data now supports the long-held beliefs that TTO has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Eucalyptus oil (EO): Nature does it again
Isolated from the leaves of the Eucalyptus plant, EO - just as with TTO - has been used for thousands of years for its antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and other medically beneficial properties. EO’s antimicrobial effects have been shown to be effective against many bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Studies have also demonstrated immune-stimulatory, antioxidant, analgesic, and spasmolytic effects. EO has a very long history of usage with an excellent safety record.
Eucalyptus oil (EO) ... have antimicrobial effects against many bacteria, including Mycobacterium tuberculosis and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), viruses, and fungi (including Candida).
Surprisingly for an antimicrobial substance, there are also immune-stimulatory, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, analgesic, and spasmolytic effects.
More recently, the biochemical details behind these effects have been clarified. Although other plant oils may be more microbiologically active, the safety of moderate doses of EO and its broad-spectrum antimicrobial action make it an attractive alternative to pharmaceuticals.
All Barrier products contain an industry-leading 2% concentration of pure, high-quality TTO and EO. Barrier liquid soaps aren’t merely high-quality: they’re important, and aim to respond to the crisis of antimicrobial resistance by replacing the artificial “antibacterial soaps” that currently flood the market.