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March 15, 1985

Bar Soap and Liquid Soap-Reply

Author Affiliations

Armour-Dial Inc Scottsdale, Ariz

JAMA. 1985;253(11):1561. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03350350054018

In Reply.—  The central issue is that a single research study has been over-interpreted to imply a health risk to bar-soap users when, in fact, there is no scientific evidence to support this supposition. The finding of microorganisms on in-use soap bars, reported by Dr Kabara, is neither new nor unexpected, given the ubiquitous nature of microorganisms.Published research shows that bacteria on soap bars are not transferred to the hands during washing.1 Dr Kabara's criticisms of this study are irrelevant (saline and neutralizers are not needed to recover bacteria after washing with a nongermicidal soap and tap water) or invalid (the entire outer surface of the bars was sampled; only the insides were not sampled!). Dr Kabara has presented no data, nor has any laboratory or epidemiologic study been published that contradicts the finding that bacteria are not transferred to the hands during washing with soap bars.On