Antibacterial Doesn’t Equal Safer

Don’t be surprised if the next time you are at the store you cannot find soaps labeled “antibacterial.” The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently put a ban on the marketing of over-the-counter antiseptic wash products containing antibacterial active ingredients, including triclosan and triclocarban. The manufacturers haven’t proven their safety for daily use over a long period of time. Plus, according to the FDA, there’s no proof that using such products helps fight germs more than washing with regular soap and water. Experts are also worried that triclosan contributes to making bacteria resistant to antibiotics, which may impact the effectiveness of medical treatments. While antibacterial soaps won’t be available until manufacturers can create safer, more effective products, the FDA’s ban does not apply to hand sanitizers and hand wipes as well as antibacterial soaps used in hospitals and nursing homes.

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