Consumers don’t need to use antibacterial soaps, and some of them may even be dangerous, the Food and Drug Administration says.
Companies have a year to take these ingredients out of their products or remove the products from the market, the agency said.
“If the product makes antibacterial claims, chances are pretty good that it contains one of these ingredients,” Theresa Michele, director of the FDA’s Division of Nonprescription Drug Products, said Friday in a conference call with reporters.
The ban applies only to consumer products, not to antibacterial soaps used in hospitals and food service settings.(1)
Triclosan used in 93 percent of liquid products labeled “antibacterial” or “antimicrobial” – at least 2,000 different products, according to the FDA.
In 2013 FDA gave soapmakers a year to show that adding antibacterial chemicals did anything at all to help them kill germs. It made the rule final Friday.
“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 Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.
“In fact, some data suggests that antibacterial ingredients may do more harm than good over the long-term.(2)”
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