Soaps marketed to consumers using claims of antimicrobial properties may contain one or more chemicals from a list of 19 recently banned by the FDA. The ban was issued September 16 but companies have a year to remove the chemicals or take the soaps off the market. Some of the chemicals are found in other consumer products and those uses are still permitted. According to the Environmental Working Group these products include fabrics, over-the-counter acne medications, and at least one toothpaste. Triclosan is associated with hormone disruption in humans.
The FDA stated in a press release that “plain soap and water” is effective in preventing transmission of bacterial illness. The new regulations do not effect products or practices in food preparation or health care. Hand sanitizers containing alcohol as the active ingredient are not banned. Companies have already begun to replace the banned chemicals with other ingredients. They will have one year to research the safety of the substitutes.
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