The Dangers of Antibacterial Soaps

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Dangers of Antibacterial Soaps
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Are you still buying antibacterial soap and other cleansers? Why?

Perhaps you think these products will keep you safe from germs and protect you from illness? The truth may surprise you. According to the Federal Drug Administration, there is no evidence that these over-the-counter products are more effective at preventing illness than washing with plain soap and water.

The Good Human has written about the dangers of antibacterial soaps before, but here’s a refresher: Not only are there no proven benefits of using antibacterial or antimicrobial soaps, there could be harmful side-effects associated with the use of the chemical ingredients found in such products. Many liquid soaps contain triclosan, which has raised many concerns with environmental groups. Triclosan has been found to alter bodily hormones in animal studies. These studies suggest further investigation is needed to see how this ingredient affects the human body.

Because Triclosan is found in pesticides, the FDA is now working in tandem with the Environmental Protection Agency on science and regulatory issues related to the chemical. (Why would you willingly wash your hands with something found in pesticides?) The FDA announced recently that it is proposing a change that would require studies to test the ability of an antibacterial soap to provide a clinical benefit compared with washing with a non-antibacterial soap.

Dangers of Antibacterial Soaps

Now is the time to weigh in on this issue. FDA encourages consumers, clinicians, environmental groups, scientists, industry representatives and others to discuss and weigh in on the proposed rule and the data it discusses. The comment period is currently open. Submit your comment online at www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/ContactFDA.

Using Liquid Soap For Washing Hands image from BigStock.

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