LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens can sicken and even kill people. Germs, meaning micro-organisms, are everywhere in our world, so it's impossible to avoid them. Here are four tips for fighting them without going overboard.
Check out the full list from Univ. of California-Berkeley Wellness: 9 germ-fighting facts
1. Skip the anti-bacterial soap - Soaps with tri-closan and other antiseptics do kill or inhibit bacteria, but the result is essentially the same as with regular soap. Studies have found no additional benefit from using antibacterial or antiseptic products and the widespread use of antibacterial products may also encourage the development of drug-resistant bacteria.
2. Clean kitchen surfaces regularly - Wash or replace sponges and dish cloths often. An anti-bacterial sponge will *not disinfect a counter-top, and the sponge will eventually get dirty. Plain soap or detergent is just as effective in the kitchen as an anti-bacterial product.
3. Forget anti-bacterial products - There's no evidence that household products containing anti-bacterial chemicals reduce the risk of infections. In fact, the EPA has ordered some marketers of such products to stop making misleading claims about health benefits. Soap and water is always, always better.
4. Don't stress over "bad" airplane air - There's an increased risk of catching a cold when flying. People often blame this on poor ventilation, especially the re-circulation of cabin air. But studies have found that the infection rate is the same in planes that use 100-percent fresh air for ventilation and those that use re-circulated cabin air. The real culprit is simple human proximity.