FDA halts sale of some over-the-counter hand, body wash products
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday banned some over-the-counter antibacterial hand and body wash products, saying they are no more effective than soap and water and could cause long-term harm. The move affects 2,100 products, or roughly 40 percent of the over-the-counter antibacterial soap market, Dr. Theresa Michele, director of the FDA’s division of nonprescription drug products, told reporters on a conference call. The ruling does not affect alcohol-based hand sanitizers or antibacterial products used in hospitals and clinics. The agency said it is banning products that contain any one of 19 ingredients that have not been proven safe.
FDA spokeswoman Andrea Fischer and Brian Sansoni, of the American Cleaning Institute, which represents multiple cleaning products companies, were unable to identify the products most affected by Friday’s ruling. The ACI, whose members include Dial Corp., a unit of Germany’s Henkel, insists the products are effective.
The FDA had proposed banning the ingredients in 2013 unless companies could prove they were safe and effective, but was unsatisfied with the data.
“Clearly this is an industry that needed a good, swift kick in the triclosan. It took far too long,” said Ken Cook, the president of the Environmental Working Group, a non-profit environmental research organization.
Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble Co and Colgate-Palmolive Co have said they have either reformulated or are reformulating their products to delete the most common of the 19 ingredients, including triclosan and triclocarban.
I’ve always been leery of anti-bacterial soap with the claim “kills 99.9% of all bacteria!”. My reaction is that means the weakling are getting slaughtered leaving the superbugs free to breed.