54°
Light fog
SAT
 57°
 55°
SUN
 63°
 50°
MON
 67°
 44°
TUE
 66°
 47°
WED
 59°
 43°

FDA: Anti-bacterial soaps may not curb bacteria

  • FILE - This Tuesday, April 30, 2013, file photo, shows Dawn Ultra antibacterial soap in a kitchen in Chicago. The Food and Drug Administration says Monday, Dec. 16, 2013, there is no evidence that antibacterial chemicals used in liquid soaps and washes help prevent the spread of germs, and there is some evidence they may pose health risks. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)

"The FDA is finally making a judgment call here and asking industry to show us that these products are better than soap and water, and the data don't substantiate that," said Stuart Levy of Tufts University School of Medicine.

Under a proposed rule released Monday, the agency will require manufacturers to prove that anti-bacterial soaps and body washes are safe and more effective than plain soap and water. Products that are not shown to be safe and effective by late 2016 would have to be reformulated, relabeled or removed from the market.

"I suspect there are a lot of consumers who assume that by using an anti-bacterial soap product they are protecting themselves from illness, protecting their families," said Sandra Kweder, deputy director in the FDA's drug center. "But we don't have any evidence that that is really the case over simple soap and water."

A spokesman for the cleaning product industry said the FDA already has "a wealth of data" showing the benefits of its products.

An FDA analysis estimates it will cost companies $112.2 million to $368.8 million to comply with the new regulations, including reformulating some products and removing marketing claims from others.


comments powered by Disqus
© The Press Democrat |  Terms of Service |  Privacy Policy |  Jobs With Us |  RSS |  Advertising |  Sonoma Media Investments |  Place an Ad
Switch to our Mobile View