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Why the FDA is Ordering to Remove Antibacterial Chemicals Found in Soaps

Sep 06, 2016 04:20 AM EDT
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Soaps with antibacterial chemicals are now banned by the Food and Drug Agency (FDA) because of doubts if these chemicals are safe or not -- including triclosan and triclocarbon. It is also reported that it is not even proven if chemicals are beneficial.

"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," Dr. Janet Woodcock, the director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER), said in a statement via Live Science." In fact, some data suggests that antibacterial ingredients may do more harm than good over the long term."

This ban will affect 19 chemicals. However, alcohol-based sanitizers and soaps that are used in clinics, hospitals or any medical facilities are not included in the ban.

Though this ban will affect the manufacturers, these companies had actually started removing the chemicals as they cannot also provide data that will determine the safety of these materials to the public. In fact, in 2013, there was evidence that using soaps for a long period of time might not be as effective in combating against bacteria because it actually makes the bacteria resistant and can even "disrupt the hormone in the body."

For the meantime, soaps with benzalkonium chloride, benzethonium chloride and chloroxylenol (PCMX), are postponed from the ban until one year because they're waiting for the data that will ensure these chemicals are safe.

FDA encourages the public to wash with water and regular soap as a safer option to help fight germs and avoid spreading of bacteria. If regular soap or water are not readily available, U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests to use alcohol-based hand sanitizers, but only those with 60 percent alcohol to be more effective in fighting germs.

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