FDA issues final ruling on antibacterial soap safety

FDA issues final ruling on antibacterial soap safety

The US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a final ruling that over-the-counter (OTC) consumer antiseptic wash products that contain certain ingredients can no longer be marketed.

With manufacturers failing to prove that antibacterial washes with certain ingredients were safe for long-term daily use, and ‘more effective than plain soap and water in preventing illness and the spread of certain infections’, companies will have to halt all marketing activities of the products.

As such, some manufacturers have already started removing the ingredients in question.

Janet Woodcock, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER), said, “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.
“In fact, some data suggests that antibacterial ingredients may do more harm than good over the long-term.”

The final ruling comes after a proposed ruling was announced in 2013, following concerns that ‘long-term exposure to certain active ingredients used in antibacterial products — for example, triclosan (liquid soaps) and triclocarban (bar soaps) — could pose health risks, such as bacterial resistance or hormonal effects.’

Manufacturers were requested to provide the agency with evidence that of the safety and effectiveness of certain ingredients, however, failed to do so.