FDA Bans Antibacterial Soap

Antibacterial Soap Doesn’t Just Not Help, It Can Actually Hurt

Think you’re staying healthy by sudsing up with antibacterial soap? Think again!

The FDA just announced that antibacterial soap is not only no better than plain soap at preventing illness but also that – and we quote – “the wide use of these products over a long time has raised the question of potential negative effects on your health.”

Yup. That.

Cliff’s notes version: antibacterial soap does more harm than good.

Thinking hmm, I feel like I heard something about how I shouldn’t use antibacterial soap before? Yup. You did. We wrote about claims that antibacterial soap is linked with infertility a while ago…

But you know shit just got real when the FDA steps in to pull something off the shelves.

The FDA specified 19 antibacterial ingredients — triclosan and triclocarban are the most common — all of which must be removed within a year.

In case the scope of this weren’t clear, these 19 ingredients are approximately 40% of the soaps on the market!

While this will affect liquid, foam, gel hand soaps, bar soaps, and body washes; it will not affect hand sanitizers and antibacterial wipes containing more than 50% alcohol. It also will not affect soap used in hospitals or nursing homes. Although we’d caution you to use those mindfully (or not at all).

So what’s a gal to do if she wants clean, germ-free hands?

“Simple hand-washing 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,” says Theresa M. Michele, MD, of the FDA’s Division of Nonprescription Drug Products.

Yup. Just regular ol’ soap like Dr. Bronner’s 4-in-1 Sugar Peppermint Organic Pump Soap.


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