The move is aimed at countering consumer perception that the antibacterial washes are more effective at killing germs and preventing illness, said the FDA's Dr. Janet Woodcock. Overall, the agency said the 19 substances used in soaps for their antibacterial properties, the most popular of which are triclosan and triclocarban, are not more effective than normal soap.
The FDA issued a proposed rule in 2013 that required the manufacturers of antibacterial hand soaps and body washes to prove that their products were more effective than plain soap and were safe for long-term use. The federal flushing applies to any hand soap or antiseptic wash product that has one or more of 19 specific chemicals in them, including the common triclosan (found in antibacterial hand soap) and triclocarbon (found in bar soaps).
Manufacturers have a year to comply with the ban, and some are already working to remove the ingredients in question from their products, the FDA said.
The FDA banned 19 active ingredients commonly found in antibacterial soaps - including triclosan and triclocarban - because they've been linked to antibiotic resistance and hormone disruption.
The American Cleaning Institute, which represents cleaning products companies, including Dial Corp, a unit of Germany's Henkel, Ecolab Inc and Steris Corp; insists the products are effective.
At the same time, manufacturers failed to show that their antibacterial products are any better than ordinary soap and water at preventing the spread of germs, the FDA said. Stick to good ol' soap and water.
Antibacterial everything. All parents have their bathrooms stocked with antibacterial soaps to disinfect their kids' grubby little hands when they get home from school or daycare.
Antibacterial hand wipes, liquid hand sanitizers and other products used in a "healthcare setting" are not covered by the ruling.
Handwashing with soap and water, though, is critical, the FDA stressed.
For decades, store shelves have featured hand soaps, body washes, dish soap and other products that proudly proclaimed (or is that claimed) that they were antibacterial and helped thwart germs.