Another magic bullet is going away — “antibacterial soaps” will disappear

If you’ve been spending your hard-earned money on fancy antibacterial soaps in the hopes that they’ll keep you clean and healthy, you may want to stop.

The US Food and Drug Administration just released a new, exhaustive report and ruling that there’s actually no good evidence they perform any better than plain old soap and water when it comes to preventing illness or the spread of bacteria and viruses.

What’s more, the agency is banning companies from using 19 common “antibacterial” chemicals — such as triclosan and triclocarban — in products going forward…Manufacturers have a year to reformulate products or remove ones with these chemicals from the market.

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

The FDA noted that the ban won’t apply to consumer hand “sanitizers” or wipes, as well as antibacterial products used in health care settings.

Another cash cow created by the “healthiness” industry bites the big one. But, cheer up. Some other health fad will come along. The same old profiteers and maybe a couple new entrepreneurs will “clean up” from consumers who continue to believe there’s always another magic cure ready to be discovered. For just pennies a day.

2 thoughts on “Another magic bullet is going away — “antibacterial soaps” will disappear

  1. p/s says:

    Antibacterial ingredients in indoor dust could contribute to antibiotic resistance (American Chemical Society 9/7/16) http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-09/acs-aii090216.php Antibiotic-resistant bacteria, known as “superbugs,” pose a major public health threat. Some officials have even warned of a post-antibiotic — and sicker — era. To better understand the problem, researchers have been piecing together its contributing factors. Now in the ACS journal “Environmental Science & Technology”, scientists report for the first time a link between antimicrobial substances such as triclosan in indoor dust and levels of antibiotic-resistance genes, which can transfer from one bacterial cell to another.
    The overuse of antibiotics in both humans and livestock has largely been blamed for the rise in drug resistance. The ubiquity of antimicrobials in hand soaps, cosmetics and other personal care products that ultimately rinse down the drain and into wastewater has also contributed.” See “Antimicrobial Chemicals Are Associated with Elevated Antibiotic Resistance Genes in the Indoor Dust Microbiome” http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.est.6b00262

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