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August 2002

Antimicrobial Consumer ProductsWhere's the Benefit? What's the Risk?

Author Affiliations

Copyright 2002 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2002

Arch Dermatol. 2002;138(8):1087-1088. doi:10.1001/archderm.138.8.1087

THE PROLIFERATION of antibacterial-containing consumer products on the market and in households raises concern—and for good reason. The perceived benefits are not evident, yet the potential negative consequences are. These same surface chemicals have been used effectively for several decades in hospitals under stringent guidelines that require, among other precautions, minutes, not seconds, of exposure. In hospitals, a high concentration of ingredients is maintained on the animate or inanimate surfaces long enough to do the antimicrobial job required.