FDA's New Rule Challanges Effectiveness of Soap
POSTED: Monday, December 16, 2013 - 2:19pm
UPDATED: Monday, December 16, 2013 - 4:24pm
NBC NATIONAL NEWS (NBC33) — The Food and Drug Administration published a blog post today, saying there is currently no evidence that using antibacterial soaps and body washes are more effective than plain soap and water
The FDA says laboratory research suggests triclosan, the active ingredients used in most antibacterial soaps could pose a health risk to humans because it could cause unintended hormonal changes. Triclosan soaps may be contributing to bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics.
Manufacturers would be required to conduct clinical trials to prove their products are effective, if the FDA’s proposed rule becomes law .
There are about two thousand soap products that use an antibacterial chemical. All soaps labeled
"antibacterial" or "antimicrobial" that are intended to mix with water will be subject to review by the FDA. The proposed rule would not cover hand sanitizers, hand wipes or antibacterial soaps used in hospitals.
The FDA is also working in conjunction with the Environmental Protection Agency in investigating
triclosan. The EPA is investigating the effects of triclosan as a pesticide. Both government agencies are working together to understand the scope of how the chemical effects humans, and to ensure consistency in regulating triclosan..
Consumers, scientists, environmental groups, and others are encouraged to comment on the proposed new rule. The FDA has given the public a 180 day period for comments.
However, the FDA still maintains that hand washing is a critical step in preventing the spread of disease.
If you find yourself without soap, alcohol-based hand sanitizing gels are a proven safe alternative to soap and water.
To see the FDA’s full Blog Post on antibacterial soaps click here