US bans antibacterial soap chemicals over health risks

The US Food and Drug Administration on Friday banned several key chemicals in antibacterial hand soap, warning of health risks and saying they were not more effective than ordinary soap. The FDA move took aim at 19 ingredients including the two most common, triclosan and triclocarban, which are widely included in liquid and bar antibacterial soaps despite fears they damage the immune system. “Consumers may think antibacterial washes are more effective at preventing the spread of germs, but we have no scientific evidence that they are any better than plain soap and water,” said Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA’s drugs division.

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