FDA to Crack Down on Antibacterial Soap

Germaphobes beware: the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday announced antibacterial hand soap and body wash companies must prove their products prevent infection and kill bacteria better than plain old soap and water or they will be forced to reformulate or relabel their products. 

"Although consumers generally view these products as effective tools to help prevent the spread of germs, there is currently no evidence that they are any more effective at preventing illness than washing with plain soap and water," said an FDA statement. 

The FDA says chemicals used in antibacterial soaps like triclosan and triclocarban may affect hormone levels and should be tested for safety. 

"Due to consumers' extensive exposure to the ingredients in antibacterial soaps, we believe there should be a clearly demonstrated benefit...to balance any potential risk," said FDA official Janet Woodcock. 


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