An antibacterial is any agent that disrupts bacteria’s ability to grow and reproduce in some way. Antibacterials are grouped into quick acting and residual. For instance, alcohols, chlorine, peroxides and aldehydes are quick acting and triclosan, triclocarban and benzalkonium chloride are residual. Antibacterials are found in medications, commonly referred to as antibiotics, cleaning products, skincare formulas, soaps, etc.
Your body produces natural antibacterials as well. For instance, lysozyme is an enzyme present in your body’s fluid and secretions, like tears and saliva. Other natural antibacterials are bacteria specific antibodies and macrophages produced by your immune system. There are components of certain plants and various pathogens that can also provide natural antibacterial protection to disease causing bacteria.
Most bacteria in the environment is considered harmless, some are even helpful, to human health. Man made antibacterial products being used routinely do not discriminate, so even the advantageous ones are eliminated. There’s mounting concern that the wide swath use of products containing antibacterials is actually creating vulnerability to human health.