Saturday, September 3, 2016

 

FDA Bans 19 Chemicals From Antibacterial Soaps

Your antibacterial soap might not be what you thought it was: antibacterial.

Today, the Food and Drug Administration issued a rule banning 19 chemicals from wash-off antibacterial soaps, citing a lack of effectiveness and saying soap manufacturers would have a year to remove the ingredients from their products.

"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 or water," Dr. Janet Woodcock, the director of the FDA'sCenter for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in a statement.

She said that, "some data suggests that antibacterial ingredients may do more harm than good over the long-term."

The FDA specifically called out triclosan and triclocarban, which some evidence has shown may disrupt hormone levels and contribute to drug resistance in bacteria.

According to the FDA, manufacturers have not provided sufficient data to prove the safety, effectiveness and superiority of antibacterial soaps over their traditional counterparts since today's rule was first proposed in 2013. The agency said it would hold off passing judgment on three additional ingredients for one year, in order to give manufacturers more time to submit data.

"The FDA already has in its hands data that shows the safety and effectiveness of antibacterial soaps,” the American Cleaning Institute, an association of cleaning chemical makers, said in a statement. "Manufacturers are continuing their work to provide even more science and research to fill data gaps identified by FDA.”

The group said that it and its members would submit the data requested for the three chemicals that were still being considered for a ban.

The FDA said manufacturers have been "phasing out" the use of triclosan, triclocarban and some other ingredients since the rule's proposal. The agency added that the new rule does not apply to non-wash-off hand sanitizers and wipes, but is specifically targeted at soap that is washed off after use.

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