You will soon not be able to get your hands on “antibacterial” soaps and dish washing liquids. After giving companies that make these products a few years (since late 2013) to prove the effectiveness of antibacterial soaps over simply using soap and water to fight germs, and the companies not being able to do so, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has officially banned antibacterial soaps and dish washing liquids.
Specifically, the FDA has banned two ingredients that are common in liquids marketed as antibacterial namely triclosan and triclocarban.
Companies have not been able to prove that these ingredients can kill germs and they have not been able to prove the safety of these ingredients either. Some research even shows that these antibacterial soaps may interfere with hormones as well as increasing the risk of drug resistant bacteria in the long run.
“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 Janet Woodcock, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER). “In fact, some data suggests that antibacterial ingredients may do more harm than good over the long-term.”
The FDA is giving companies time (a year) to eliminate these ingredients from their products. Some makers of these products have already started reformulating their products to eliminate these problematic ingredients.
According to the FDA,
Washing with plain soap and running water remains one of the most important steps consumers can take to avoid getting sick and to prevent spreading germs to others. If soap and water are not available and a consumer uses hand sanitizer instead, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that it be an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.