At one point or another, we’ve all had antibacterial soaps in our households. In fact some of us may even be using them still.
But did you know that they may soon disappear from supermarkets’ shelves? In fact, it’s already happening in certain parts of the world, particularly the United States.
This after the FDA finally put their foot down and ruled against the sale and marketing of such products.
As it turns out, the long-held belief that antiseptic soaps are much more effective than regular soaps in fighting the spread of disease-causing germs is not entirely factual.
Tests that experts conducted didn’t even find scientific explanation to prove its effectivity.
“Following simple handwashing practices is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of many types of infection and illness at home, at school and elsewhere,” said FDA’s Theresa M. Michele of the Division of Nonprescription Drug Products.
Moreover, antibacterial soaps contain the chemicals triclosan and triclocarban; in different studies, the FDA has not proven these chemicals safe for sustained use.
FDA hopes that this ban will reduce people’s exposure to these active ingredients by 2.2 million pounds per year.
The probe on these kids of products began in 2013, when the government agency began considering evidence that certain active antimicrobial agents, including triclosan and triclocarban, could be contributing to antimicrobial resistance and endocrine disruption.
Now FDA is also testing three other chemicals for their safety and effectiveness, particularly benzalkonium chloride, benzethonium chloride, and chloroxylenol.
As for hand sanitizers containing the same chemicals as antibacterial soaps, the FDA hasn’t banned them yet.
That doesn’t mean, however, that they’re safer to use than antiseptic soaps.
The fact remains that regular soap and water are still the best way to make sure disease-causing germs are not transferred from one host to another.
What if you suddenly find yourself without soap and water, you ask?
According to the CDC, if soap and water aren’t available, you should instead use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol in it.
READ: 3-year-old becomes drunk after drinking hand sanitizer
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