FDA Says Antibacterial Soap May Do More Harm Than Good


We have been conditioned to believe that washing our hands with antibacterial soap will not only get them cleaner, but will be more effective in stopping the spread of germs. In 2013, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) told soap manufacturers to prove that this was the case, and that long-time use of these products was safe. Since the manufactures were unable to do so, the FDA has now ordered certain ingredients to be removed from so-called antibacterial soaps within the next year.

Triclosan and triclocarban are two of the most common of the 19 chemicals cited by the FDA as having no greater impact in removing germs from hands than washing with plain soap and water. Soap manufacturers have one year to completely stop using these ingredients in their products. While triclosan may break down cell walls to kill bacteria, you would need to consistently wash your hands for hours in order for it to be effective. Some studies suggest that constant use of these products can actually lead to bacteria becoming resistant to drugs. The increased use of antibacterial soap in the last 20 years has also led to triclosan showing up in ground soil and the country’s water supply.

It should be noted that hand sanitizers and antibacterial wipes are not included in the FDA’s ruling, but the administration will continue to study the effectiveness of those products, especially since they are widely used in hospitals. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) maintains that thoroughly washing your hands with soap and water is the best way to stop the spread of germs and infection. If soap and water are not available, the CDC says a 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer is okay to use until you can properly wash your hands.

Sometimes what may seem like an advancement in a product is not always an improvement. Sometimes it can be dangerous. If you or someone you love has been injured or become ill from a defective product, please call the skilled and experienced attorneys at Finz & Finz, P.C., to help secure the compensation you deserve for you and your family.

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Finz & Finz, P.C. is a New York and Long Island personal injury law firm based out of Mineola, NY. It was founded in 1984 and is highly rated, with many honors and awards of excellence.