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FDA Thinks Antibacterial Soap Is Kind Of Sketchy

Manufacturers have a year to remove 19 active ingredients used in antibacterial soap.

By Samantha Crook | September 2, 2016

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is officially not a fan of antibacterial soap — specifically 19 active ingredients used in antiseptic washes. 

The FDA says manufacturers haven't proven the ingredients are safe for long-term daily use or more effective than just plain old soap and water.

SEE MORE: Down The Drain? Bar Soap Sales (And Use) Have Decreased

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The FDA previously asked for data from manufacturers to support claims the ingredients, most notably triclosan and triclocarban, were safe and effective. The agency has now concluded those claims equate to misbranding.

Some studies have suggested that triclosan can disrupt hormones in animals, but its effects on humans are still unclear.

The American Cleaning Institute  defended the safety and efficacy of antibacterial soaps, saying manufacturers will keep working to provide more data on antibacterial ingredients.  

Manufacturers have a year to remove the ingredients from their products, but the FDA's ruling doesn't affect hand sanitizers or "antibacterial products used in health care settings."

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