Today the FDA announced it will be calling for several antibacterial soaps to be pulled from the shelves after research failed to show they were any safer or more effective than regular old soap. A number of ingredients typically found in antibacterial soaps, including triclosan, are now banned. Manufacturers have one year to reformulate their products or they will be removed from shelves.
In 2013 the FDA first proposed a ban and requested soap manufacturers do their best to convince them their antibacterial products were better at germ-fighting than the alternative and safe for continuous use. Some companies did not even bother to submit any data, and the rest failed to convince the agency of their claims.
“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, director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, in a statement from the FDA. “In fact, some data suggests that antibacterial ingredients may do more harm than good over the long-term.”
Of the 19 chemicals identified, triclosan, a commonly used and potentially dangerous element in antibacterial soaps, has been taken off the market. The ruling does not affect soaps used in healthcare settings or alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
Via Ars Technica