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The FDA Finally Banned Over-the-Counter Antibacterial Soaps

The FDA Finally Banned Over-the-Counter Antibacterial Soaps

The Food and Drug Administration released a final ruling on Friday that bans many over-the-counter antibacterial soaps, as it has found them to be ineffective, and maybe even unsafe. Which means that for all those people who’ve felt something was suspicious about these soaps since the beginning, now would be the time to prepare your “I told you so” speeches.

According to the FDA’s news release, the decision comes after the rule—which disallows the use of 19 different chemicals commonly found in antibacterial soaps, including triclosan and triclocarban—was proposed back in 2013.

But the ruling, which was reported on by Ars Technica, actually comes 38 years after a ban on triclosan and triclocarban was originally proposed by the FDA back in 1978. It was only in 2013, after a lawsuit was brought against the FDA by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) for “failing to issue a final rule regulating the chemicals triclosan and triclocarban,” did the agency look at “data [that] suggested that long-term exposure to certain active ingredients used in antibacterial products… could pose health risks, such as bacterial resistance or hormonal effects.”

Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said that “we have no scientific evidence that [antibacterial soaps] are any better than plain soap and water,” and that “some data suggests that antibacterial ingredients may do more harm than good over the long-term.”

The ruling will mainly affect liquid antibacterial soaps, and will have no effect on alcohol-based hand sanitizers or wipes. But there’s still no doubt about it: from this point forward, consider the antibacterial soap bubble popped.

What do you think about the FDA’s rule banning antibacterial soaps? Do you believe triclosan and triclocarban have negative effects on humans’ physiology? Did this article really make you want to watch Fight Club?! Let us know in the comments below!

Image: flickr / frankieleon

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