More than a dozen chemicals used in antibacterial soaps were banned September 2nd
when manufacturers were unable to prove that they are indeed safe and are effective in killing bacteria.
Food and Drug Administration’s Drug Center Director, Dr. Janet Woodcock said
, “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. In fact, some data suggests that antibacterial ingredients may do more harm than good over the long term."
The ban applies to 19 chemicals but are only limited to soaps that are meant to be lathered and are washed off with water. This rule does not apply to the antibacterial chemicals
which are often utilized in clinical settings. This does not also include hand sanitizers or antibacterial wipes.
Additionally, the new ban did not surprise manufacturers since they have already began eliminating these ingredients from their soap products.
Since the chemicals are known to kill some germs, experts are worried that routine use will eventually help drug-resistant bacteria to appear since they can no longer be killed by antibiotics.
From the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, a 2015 study discovered that plain soap works just as well as antibacterial soap
which contains triclosan against 20 various bacterial strains. There was also another study that discovered triclosan may fuel cancer in mice
. Triclosan has been banned in the state of Minnesota
Dr. Rachel Orscheln, a pediatric infectious disease expert at Washington School of Medicine said that soap and water is the best way to prevent infection. Additionally, hand sanitizers which contain at least 60% alcohol are also effective in killing germs.