Our mothers insisted that we wash our hands before eating, and often we did. That was when bar soap was essentially rendered lard and some perfume. Today's hand soap and other body cleansers have anti-bacterial agents in them to zap those nasty microbes.
As usual these days, all is not well with new technology. According to an article in ScienceDaily, "A new UC Davis study shows that a common antibacterial chemical added to bath soaps can alter hormonal activity in rats and in human cells in the laboratory--and does so by a previously unreported mechanism." Rats!
The article reports that some studies 'are revealing that some synthetic chemicals in household products can cause health problems by interfering with normal hormone action.'
The reports goes on:
"Called endocrine disruptors, or endocrine disrupting substances (EDS), such chemicals have been linked in animal studies to a variety of problems, including cancer, reproductive failure and developmental anomalies.
"This is the first endocrine study to investigate the hormone effects of the antibacterial compound triclocarban (also known as TCC or 3,4,4'-trichlorocarbanilide), which is widely used in household and personal care products including bar soaps, body washes, cleansing lotions, wipes and detergents."
Triclocarban is also called TCC, Cutisan, and Solubacter. On another site I found our that 'Triclocarban resembles triclosan in structure and function.' Triclosan is found in my hand sanitizer as the 'active ingredient.'
Apparently we ought to read the labels of those bars of soap and body washes to see if the dreaded 'TCC' appears in them. I guess we ought to go back to good old Ivory Soap, 99 44/100 % pure.