The US Food and Drug Administration placed a ban on several key ingredients used in the making of antibacterial hand soap. The agency warns that most chemicals used in these health care products doesn’t make it safer than others, adding that there are health risks that cannot be ignored.
A report from the AFP says the country’s recent ban was placed on a total of 19 ingredients including the two most common, triclosan and triclocarban.
The two listed chemicals are the mostly used in the making of liquid and bar antibacterial soaps.
Companies have continued to use such life-threatening solutions despite fears that they pose great dangers to humanity.
Triclosan and triclocarbon have the capabilities to damage user’s immune system, FDA says.
“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 drugs division.
“In fact, some data suggests that antibacterial ingredients may do more harm than good over the long-term.”
There are however, some chemicals which were allowed in the market.
“The ban does not include hand disinfectant products used in hospitals and other medical centers,” the FDA said.
“Manufacturers have a year to comply with the ban, and some are already working to remove the ingredients in question from their products.”
According to Theresa Michele, who works with the personal care side of the agency, “most non-medical products on the market contain at least one of the banned ingredients”.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration went further with useful pieces of advice to the general public.
Consumers have been advised to start making use of water and plain soap instead of antibacterial products.
“Washing with plain soap and running water remains one of the most important steps consumers can take to avoid getting sick and to prevent spreading germs to others,” an FDA statement said.
“If soap and water are not available, a hand sanitizer ‘that contains at least 60 percent alcohol,’ could be used instead,” it added.
Notwithstanding all reasons against the use of antibacterial soap as issued by the FDA, the American Cleaning Institute (ACI) says they’re not convinced that such personal care products have any potential to cause serious harm to users.
The ACI argues in a statement that: “Antibacterial soaps are critical to public health because of the importance hand hygiene plays in the prevention of infection.
“Washing the hands with an antiseptic soap can help reduce the risk of infection beyond that provided by washing with non-antibacterial soap and water.”