FDA Bans Antibacterials In Consumer Soaps

DETROIT (WWJ) – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is banning the use of 17 antibacterial ingredients commonly used in consumers soaps.

Companies will no longer be able to market antibacterial washes with these ingredients because manufacturers did not demonstrate that the ingredients are both safe for long-term daily use and effective in preventing illness and the spread of  infections, according to the FDA.

The central targets are trioclosan and triclocarban.

Some manufacturers have already started removing these ingredients from their products.

The FDA still says, though, that regular soap and running water is still your best bet when washing your hands, to avoid getting sick and to prevent spreading germs to others. If soap and water are not available and a consumer uses hand sanitizer instead, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendsthat it be an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.

“Consumers may think antibacterial washes are more effective at preventing the spread of germs, but we have no scientific evidence that they are any better than plain soap and water,” said Janet Woodcock, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER). “In fact, some data suggests that antibacterial ingredients may do more harm than good over the long-term.”

This new rule does not affect consumer hand “sanitizers” or wipes, or antibacterial products used in health care settings.

For more information from the FDA, visit this link.

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