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Friday, September 9, 2016

FDA Issues New Ruling on Antibacterial Soaps


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February 7, 2016

For years, consumers looking for a leg up on germs have purchased soaps and washes with labels touting their antibacterial properties. Now in a new ruling, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has declared that companies selling over-the-counter antiseptic washes will no longer be allowed to market their products as such due to doubts over these products’ safety and effectiveness. 

The FDA’s new ruling will affect the way manufacturers can label products that include a list of 19 active ingredients, the most commonly used of which are the antibacterial and antifungal agents triclosan and triclocarbon. In soaps, detergents, toothpastes, and mouthwashes, these ingredients act by targeting bacteria and inhibiting their ability to reproduce. This new ruling comes almost three years after the FDA proposed a rule requiring that manufacturers of over-the-counter antibacterial products demonstrate that those washes are more effective than plain hand soap in preventing illness and are safe for long-term use. In that proposal, the FDA called for data from clinical studies demonstrating that the products were superior to non-antibacterial washes in preventing human illness or reducing infection. It stated that if companies could not prove such safety and effectiveness, those products would need to be reformulated or relabeled to remain on the market. - 

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