One of the popular soap found in the market are the antibacterial soap because people know that this soap killed bacteria and many germs. As companies advertise about their antibacterial soap showing that it kills germs effectively and protect them from illness, and attract people to buy antibacterial soaps. But recently researchers found that the antibacterial chemical is very harmful for skin health and even it causes skin cancer and increases the risk of other types of cancer.
So now FDA makes a ban over using harmful antibacterial chemicals in soap. Companies can no longer market hand soaps containing several common antibacterial compounds, the Food and Drug Administration announced today.
The FDA instituted the soap ban, which includes the widely used antibacterial chemicals triclosan and triclocarban, citing questions about the antibacterial safety for long-term use. Further scientist said there is no evidence these chemicals add any benefit to people's heath beyond those of regular soap.
"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," Dr. Janet Woodcock,the director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER), said in a statement today (Sept. 2). "In fact, some data suggests that antibacterial ingredients may do more harm than good over the long term."
Total 19 chemicals are banned by FDA and this prohibition applies only to soaps that are meant to be lathered and washed off with water.The ban does not apply to antibacterial chemicals often used in clinical settings, such as hospitals or doctor's offices, and does not apply to antibacterial wipes or hand sanitizers.
Washing hands with antibacterial soap
The new prohibition comes as no surprise to manufacturers, who have already started eliminating these ingredients from their products. In 2013, the agency said that companies needed to provide evidence that the ingredients were effective and safe. At that time, recent evidence had suggested that long-term use of the soaps could fuel bacterial resistance or disrupt hormones in the body.
For continuing the chemicals to market, companies needed to provide the FDA with data showing that the products work better to combat infections than regular soap, and that the products are safe.
However no companies provided data that was sufficiently convincing, the FDA said today. In fact, a 2015 study in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy found that plain soap worked just as well as antibacterial soap containing triclosan against 20 different bacterial strains. Another study found that triclosan could fuel cancer in mice. The state of Minnesota banned products containing triclosan in 2014.
Again FDA said that it is holding off on making a decision about three other antibacterial ingredients are benzalkonium chloride,benzethonium chloride and chloroxylenol (PCMX); while they await safety and effectiveness data.
As working up a lather with soap and water is the best way to prevent infection, alcohol-based hand sanitizers can also be very effective germ-killers, provided they contain at least 60 percent alcohol,are used to cover every surface of the hands, and are rubbed till they are dry,Dr. Rachel Orscheln, a pediatric infectious disease expert at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, previously told Live Science.