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FDA bans antibacterial agents from soap products.

WASHINGTON -- Manufacturers have not demonstrated the safety or efficacy of 19 antibacterial agents common in hand and body soaps, the Food and Drug Administration ruled this month in banning the sale of soap containing the chemicals.

Triclosan, mostly used in liquid soaps, and triclocarban, an ingredient in bar soaps, are the most common of the outlawed agents, found in roughly 40% of soaps in the marketplace.

"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," stated Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, earlier this month. "In fact, some data suggests that antibacterial ingredients may do more harm than good over the long term. "

The FDA initially proposed the ban in 2013 in response to growing evidence that the antibacterial chemicals used in everyday products, including laundry detergents, deodorant and children's toys, could pose health risks.

Industry groups, including the American Cleaning Institute, opposed the ban in soap, and argued that washing with an antiseptic hand wash can help reduce the risk of infection beyond that provided by a non-antibacterial soap and water.

Some of the nation's largest consumer product makers, including Johnson & Johnson and Procter & Gamble, had already said they intend to phase out antibacterial agents from their products.

And triclosan is one of eight chemicals that Walmart wants its suppliers to remove or restrict from various health and beauty, household and cleaning products it sells.

But Walmart said in July it is not asking Colgate-Palmolive to remove triclosan from its Colgate Total toothpaste because it had not been deemed unsafe in that context by the FDA. Indeed, the FDA's September 2 ruling exempted toothpaste from the triclosan ban. Colgate Total is the only toothpaste in the United States that contains triclosan. Colgate-Palmolive introduced triclosan to the toothpaste in 1997 and has promoted Total as the "only toothpaste approved by the FDA to help fight plaque and gingivitis." Before approving the toothpaste, the FDA asked Colgate-Palmolive to conduct toxicology studies, which demonstrated to the agency that triclosan was safe and effective in toothpaste.

Three additional ingredients common in cleaning products --benzalkonium chloride, benzethonium chloride and chloroxylenol --remain under review by the FDA.

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Title Annotation:Supplier News
Publication:Chain Drug Review
Date:Sep 26, 2016
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