FDA Orders Antibacterials Removed From Commercial Soaps

Soap manufacturers will have one year to remove antibacterial ingredients from their products, the Food and Drug Administration announced Friday. According to a statement from the federal agency, “manufacturers did not demonstrate that the ingredients are both safe for long-term daily use and more effective than plain soap and water in preventing illness and the spread of certain infections.” In 2013, the FDA gave soapmakers a year to demonstrate the efficacy of adding antibacterials like triclosan and triclocarbon, and now manufacturers will have to remove them; but they still have a year to negotiate over benzalkonium chloride and other less commonly used antibacterial ingredients. Triclosan will only be removed from hand soaps and body washes, but will remain in toothpastes, where it has been demonstrated to help kill germs. According to NBC News, “there's no proof yet that triclosan is dangerous to people, but some animal studies suggest high doses can affect the way hormones work in the body.”