Antibacterial soaps aren't safer, FDA says

Posted at: 12/17/2013 10:56 AM
By: Brian Mooar, NBC News

Photo: NBC News

(NBC News) --  The Food and Drug Administration announced Monday that it doubts antibacterial soaps are any better than regular soap when it comes to killing germs and preventing disease.

The FDA is giving manufacturers one year to prove their products work as advertised or stop selling them.

The active ingredients in these soaps, Triclosan, is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency as a pesticide.

Some experts believe the risks posed by consumer antibacterial soaps may actually outweigh the benefits.
"There is some thought that these antibacterial materials actually create some resistance in the bacteria," says Dr. William Schaffner of Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Manufacturers say they've already given the FDA plenty of evidence that shows antibacterial soaps work.

"We believe the evidence has been clear for decades," says Brian Sansoni of the American Cleaning Institute.

Read more: NBC News