When you buy soaps and body washes, do you reach for products labeled “antibacterial” hoping they’ll keep your family safer? Do you think those products will lower your risk of getting sick, spreading germs or being infected? They won’t. In fact, they may be harmful to you and the environment.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the benefits of using antibacterial hand soap haven’t been proven. In addition, the wide use of these products over a long time has raised the question of potential negative effects on your health.That’s why the FDA is issuing a final rule under which OTC consumer antiseptic wash products (including liquid, foam, gel hand soaps, bar soaps, and body washes) containing the majority of the antibacterial active ingredients—including triclosan and triclocarban—will no longer be able to be marketed.
Why? Because the manufacturers haven’t proven that those ingredients are safe for daily use over a long period of time. Also, manufacturers haven’t shown that these ingredients are any more effective than plain soap and water in preventing illnesses and the spread of certain infections. Some manufacturers have already started removing these ingredients from their products, ahead of the FDA’s final rule.
“Following simple handwashing practices is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of many types of infection and illness at home, at school and elsewhere,” says Theresa M. Michele, MD, of the FDA’s Division of Nonprescription Drug Products. “We can’t advise this enough. It’s simple, and it works.”
Triclosan and Health Concerns
Many liquid soaps labeled antibacterial contain triclosan. Animal studies have shown that triclosan alters the way some hormones work in the body and raises potential concerns for the effects of use in humans. Laboratory studies have raised the possibility that triclosan contributes to making bacteria resistant to antibiotics. Some data shows this resistance may have a significant impact on the effectiveness of medical treatments, such as antibiotics.
So what should consumers do? The FDA says, “Wash your hands with plain soap and water. That’s still one of the most important steps you can take to avoid getting sick and to prevent spreading germs.”
Just one more reason to love Shugar Soapworks and Venezia Soapworks products. Check the store finder for a retailer near you.