FDA Cracking Down on Anti-Bacterial Soaps

FDA Cracking Down on Anti-Bacterial Soaps

December 16th, 2013 // 2:59 pm @

FDA has stated this week that there is no evidence that antibacterial soaps help to prevent the spread of viruses and germs. There also is some clinical evidence that the soaps could cause some risks to health.

FDA has issued a proposed rule that will require these manufacturers to demonstrate that the antibacterial hand soaps and body washes are safe for daily use and are more effective than regular soap to prevent illness and to limit the spread of infections.

Under the proposed rule, if the companies do not show this safety and effectiveness with clinical studies, the products will have to be reformulated or relabeled for them to still be sold.

This action is part of a larger effort by FDA to review antibacterial active ingredients to make sure that these items are safe and effective. It should be noted that the rule does not have any effect on hand sanitizers, wipes or any related products that are used in health care environments.

As many of us know, millions of US citizens use antibacterial soaps and body washes. People think that these products help to stop the spread of germs. But there is no clinical evidence that they are effective in stopping illness. It appears that regular soap and water is just as effective. FDA also has seen some data that shows that the active ingredients in some of the products, such as triclosan and triclocarban, could pose some health risks. Some of these could include bacterial resistance or effects on hormones.

This proposal comes more than four decades after FDA was first given the task of evaluating triclosan and related ingredients.

FDA first came out with a proposal in the 70s to limit antibacterial chemical use and acted now largely due to a lawsuit by the Natural Resources Defense Council.

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