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Home » Environmental » Antibacterial soap could pose health risks, FDA says – Health – CBC News

Antibacterial soap could pose health risks, FDA says – Health – CBC News

Antibacterial soap could pose health risks, FDA says – Health – CBC News.

Under its proposed rule released Monday, the agency will require manufacturers to prove that their antibacterial soaps and body washes are safe and more effective than plain soap and water. If companies cannot demonstrate the safety and effectiveness of their products, they would have to be reformulated, relabeled or possibly removed from the market. The agency will take comments on its proposal before finalizing it in coming months.

“Due to consumers’ extensive exposure to the ingredients in antibacterial soaps, we believe there should be a clearly demonstrated benefit from using antibacterial soap to balance any potential risk,” said Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA’s drug centre.

The agency’s proposal comes more than 40 years after the agency was first tasked with evaluating triclosan and similar ingredients. Ultimately, the government agreed to publish its findings only after a three-year legal battle with the environmental group, Natural Resources Defense Council, which accused the FDA of delaying action on triclosan. The chemical is found in an estimated 75 per cent of antibacterial liquid soaps and body washes sold in the U.S.

The FDA’s preliminary rule only applies to personal hygiene products, but it has implications for a $1 billion US industry that includes thousands of antibacterial products, including kitchen knives, toys, pacifiers and toothpaste.

Most of the research surrounding triclosan’s safety involves animal studies, which cannot always be applied to humans. But some scientists worry the chemical can disrupt hormones in humans too, raising the risk of infertility, early puberty and other developmental problems. Other experts are concerned that routine use of antibacterial chemicals like triclosan is contributing to a surge in drug-resistant germs, or superbugs, that render antibiotics ineffective.

In March 2010, the European Union banned the chemical from all products that come into contact with food, such as containers and silverware.



  1. mee3999 says:

    Reblogged this on WEIGHT LOSS.

  2. thetinfoilhatsociety says:

    I don’t know about the hormone disruption effect, but I do know this: most people do not wash their hands correctly to begin with. They do not wash all surfaces, including in between their fingers, and pay attention to the areas around and under the nails. They do not wash long enough either — 20 seconds (in nursing school you’re taught to sing ‘Happy birthday’ while washing, it’s a 20 second song). Soap emulsifies the oils and dirt on your skin, which allows bacteria that are clinging to you to be washed into the drain when you rinse.

    Because most people don’t wash correctly, all triclosan does is create bacteria that are resistant to triclosan via the vaccination effect. This ultimately leads to resistance toward other antibacterial agents as the bacteria learn how to apply resistance to one to developing resistance to another. If you wash your hands correctly, there is no need to add an antibacterial anything to the soap.

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