FDA determines anti-bacterial soaps aren’t safe
Sometime over the next year, soaps containing antibacterial agents like triclosan will fade from the market place. That's because the US Food and Drug Administration announced that it no longer considers these types of ingredients to be safe or effective in soaps for consumers.
Many medical professionals have long suggested that it is best to use plain old soap and water, because traditional soaps do a fantastic job of washing away microbes and germs. Plus, the anti-bacterial ingredients might present risks to your personal health. These types of soaps are also killing the environment.
Years ago, when the FDA approved the sale of soaps containing chemicals like triclosan, they were considered safe. But as time went on and companies started to add the anti-bacterial ingredient to everything from shower gels to hand creams, the ingredients began to show up in places it wasn't supposed to – like dolphin’s blood and human milk.
Now, most freshwater streams are contaminated with triclosan. The problem is that anti-bacterial agents kill “bad” and “good” bacteria, which can wreak havoc delicate ecosystems. And there is some evidence that germs have become resistant to other types of antibiotics as a result.
“Companies will no longer be able to market antibacterial washes with these ingredients because 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.”
On September 6, 2017, 19 of the 22 currently approved “anti-bacterials” will no longer be legal in over the counter soaps. The remaining three, benzalkonium chloride, benzethonium chloride and chloroxylenol, are still being reviewed by FDA. They may also be nixed, pending a decision.
Many men who like to manscape with a razor have traditionally leaned towards anti-bacterial soaps. The rationale was because these shavers thought anti-bacterial products helped to prevent germ based skin conditions, like folliculitis.
Now that they are disappearing, manscapers will need to go back to good old fashioned soap and water – or a high quality shaving gel.
FYI: This rule will not impact hand sanitizers or anti-bacterial wipes used for cleaning surfaces. Additionally, hospitals are still able to use these kinds of soaps.
In advance of the ruling, several soap makers, knowing the writing was on the wall, began to reformulate their products soon after the FDA's 2013 request for more data. As a result, your favorite hand cleaner may already be free of anti-bacterial agents.
Here is a link to an easy to understand FDA consumer update on the ruling.