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Antibacterial Soaps, Detergents, and Dishwashing Liquids

Anti when used as a prefix means “against” or “opposed to” whatever word follows; antibacterial denotes a substance used against bacteria. The terms antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antiseptic are often used interchangeably almost as synonyms, but in their purest definitions are different. An antimicrobial agent refers to the ability to reduce or inhibit the growth of various types of microorganisms such as bacteria or fungi. An antiseptic agent refers to the ability to reduce or inhibit the growth of microorganisms on living tissue. An antibacterial agent reduces or prevents the growth of bacteria (World Health Organization, 2006). Any product claiming to kill bacteria contains an antibacterial agent.

There is a proliferation of consumer over-the-counter antibacterial products. The names of antibacterial ingredients, how they are regulated and by ...

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