by Gabriel W. Rangel
figures by Michael Gerhardt

How many times per day do you wash your hands? Do you ever think about the type of soap you use? We all know handwashing with soap is an impactful way to maintain health by decreasing the risk of becoming infected with one germ or another. Therefore, using soap with antibacterial compounds added is a no-brainer, right? Wrong! At least according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In fact, on September 2, 2016, the FDA banned 19 supposedly antibacterial additives commonly found in over-the-counter soaps. So why has the FDA decided to prohibit these seemingly helpful additives?

How does soap work?

To fully understand the FDA’s ruling, we should first understand a little about how soaps clean and disinfect. A quick chemistry refresher will remind us that there are two general types of molecules: polar (things that can be mixed into water, like sugar) and nonpolar (things that cannot be mixed into water, like oil).

Soap molecules are amphipathic, meaning they have both polar and non-polar properties. This gives soap the ability to dissolve most types of molecules, making it easier to wash them off your hands (Figure 1). In terms of illness-causing germs, which are mostly bacteria and viruses, soap has a two-fold effect: one chemical and one behavioral. Firstly, the amphipathic nature of soap loosens the bacteria and viruses off your hands so they can be washed away more easily. Secondly, you tend to wash your hands for a longer period when using soap, because you try to rinse all of it away. Thus, regular soaps don’t necessarily kill bacteria and viruses as much as they simply help you wash them off your skin.

Figure 1: The amphipathic nature of soap molecules help lift dirt and bacteria off skin and into water so that they can be washed away.
Figure 1: The amphipathic nature of soap molecules help lift dirt and bacteria off skin and into water so that they can be washed away.

Antibacterial soaps have all the same properties as regular soap, but with an extra ingredient added that is intended to stop the bacteria remaining on your skin from replicating. The idea is that this additive will further protect the hand-washer from harmful bacteria as compared to regular soap. It is important to mention that these ingredients generally have no effect on viruses, so the focus is to reduce the risk from bacterial germs. The most common antibacterial additive found in consumer hand soaps is a compound called triclosan.

Triclosan: the good, the bad, and the unknown

A Swiss company called Ciba-Geigy was the first to synthesize and patent triclosan in 1964, and, by 1970, it was in use around the world as a surgical scrub in hospitals. Today, it is estimated that 3 of every 4 antibacterial liquid soaps sold to the typical consumer contains triclosan as the active ingredient.

While it is a useful part of many consumer products such as toothpastes, there are some concerns regarding the use of triclosan. Studies done on cells and animals in labs suggest the chemical can impact hormone signaling and other biological processes. There is also evidence that accumulation of triclosan in the environment negatively impacts organisms like algae in aquatic ecosystems. However, it is also important to point out that, to date, triclosan has not been directly linked to negative health effects in humans. On the other hand, some of the other additives recently banned by the FDA, like hexachlorophene, have been directly shown to be harmful to humans, especially with high or repeated exposure. Fortunately, for chemicals like these, the FDA has had limitations in place for years to ensure over-the-counter exposure to consumers is within safe limits.

Lastly, there are concerns that triclosan use may increase the risk of generating drug-resistant bacteria. It is well documented that bacteria normally found on your skin can become resistant to triclosan itself. Specifically, triclosan-resistant bacteria typically have mutations in proteins called enoyl-acyl carrier protein reductases (ENRs), which are important for the biosynthesis of cell membranes and are also targets for other clinically used antibiotic drugs like Isoniazid. Thus, when bacteria populations are continually exposed to triclosan, especially from environmental accumulation, they develop mutations in their ENRs to survive the exposure. The major public health concern is that these ENR mutations can also make these bacteria resistant to other antibiotics prescribed by doctors (Figure 2). If this is the case, limiting the use of triclosan to only products where it is most effective could be very important.

Figure 2: Environmental exposure to triclosan helps bacterial populations develop resistance mutations to triclosan and other important antibiotics
Figure 2: Environmental exposure to triclosan helps bacterial populations develop resistance mutations to triclosan and other important antibiotics

The FDA’s Position

Perhaps the most important role of the FDA is to protect public health. One way it can do so is by ensuring compounds in consumer products are “generally recognized as safe and effective.” While there is little evidence to suggest triclosan and other antibacterial additives are directly unsafe for humans, the actual effectiveness of these additives in household soaps had still not been proven as of a few years ago. With that in mind, the FDA issued a ruling in 2013 that required manufacturers to provide direct evidence that household soaps marketed as antibacterial are better at reducing germs and chances of infection compared to plain soaps. Companies had one year to submit their studies.

To date, there has been no conclusive evidence to suggest household antibacterial soaps are an improvement over non-antibacterial soaps. In fact, one study found it didn’t matter whether a household used plain or antibacterial soap containing triclocarban, a compound that is closely related to triclosan and is a part of the FDA ban: both cut the incidence of childhood pneumonia and diarrhea in half.

This means that if you are washing your hands with antibacterial soap, you are exposing yourself and the environment to increased amounts of these chemicals without any measurable benefit. It is for this reason that the FDA has banned adding triclosan and 18 other common antibacterial agents to household soaps, and manufacturers will have until September 2017 to comply with the ruling.

Nonetheless, there are still consumer uses for triclosan that have been proven extremely beneficial, and these are not banned by the FDA. For instance, toothpaste with triclosan has been shown to significantly reduce plaque formation, cavity formation and gingivitis compared to toothpaste without triclosan. Additionally, there are some antibacterial additives in soaps that are not subject to the FDA’s recent ruling. Many companies have replaced the banned ingredients, like triclosan, with one of these three not banned ingredients, and the FDA has granted these companies another year to demonstrate these additives are safe and effective.

Handwashing is like a do-it-yourself vaccine,” according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Washing with plain soap and water has been shown to reduce bacterial presence on hands by 82%, and studies upon studies point to the beneficial health impacts of washing with plain soap. Clearly the chemical properties of plain soap and its tendency for increasing handwashing time are enough to dramatically increase the health of consumers without adding antibacterial compounds. So, while the FDA has banned household soaps containing many common antibacterial ingredients, handwashing with plain soap will remain a cornerstone of public health and should continue to be a major part of your daily hygiene.

Gabriel W. Rangel is a Ph.D. candidate in the Biological Sciences in Public Health Program at Harvard University. 

For more information:

Official Ruling with List of Banned Chemicals

CDC’s Handwashing “Show Me the Science”

 

Cover image from the US Department of Agriculture

63 thoughts on “Say Goodbye to Antibacterial Soaps: Why the FDA is banning a household item

  1. Regular hand washing is one of the best ways to remove germs and avoid getting sick. It also prevents the spread of germs to others. Many diseases and conditions are spread by not washing hands with soap and clean running water.

  2. I don’t like the fact that the FDA is making this decision for me. Antibacterial soaps containing triclosan or triclocarbon are the only products that have kept my skin clear. I suppose if you have hundreds or even thousands of dollars to spend at the dermatologist, this is no big deal to you. It doesn’t make sense that you can put it in your mouth but not on your body.

    1. Kim, if u need antibacterial soap then u need to find someone like myself that makes natural soap and they add honey to their Cokd Process Soap. Honey contains natural antibacterial, antifungal & antioxidant properties along w many vitamins that are good for ur skin as well. If u have any questions feel free to contact me at sandymontes_48@yahoo.com and I’ll help u as much as possible. I’m thankful their pulling the stuff from the shelves, if UD write down all the ingredients in soap & shampoos and then looked them up u wouldn’t believe the poison uve been using on ur body. But it’d all make sense to u why there’s so much disease and cancer. Anyway holler if u need questions answered I’ll help as much as possible. Sandra

    2. I totally agree, it is a shame that the one thing i use to clear my skin cetaphil antibacterial face bar, is now banned. It’s even what my dermatologist told me to use and now they’re banning it?! Absolutely bull****. The soaps have been around for years without any problems, don’t fix something that isn’t broke.

      1. I think it’s still here in Jacksonville,fla I will check today now I am curious I saw some last month.

    3. Yes, I agree that it doesn’t make sense that you can put it in your mouth but not on your skin. I use the Colgate Total Clean Mint that has the Triclosan and have good dental checks. However, since they took Triclosan out of the soap, Safeguard, that I used for decades, I am now battling infections on both of my legs that I never had before. I am an elderly woman and I wonder if the FDA even considered what banning this ingredient would do to not only hand washing, but whole body washing!!! It’s easy to wash your hands for an extended period of time, not so easy on other areas of your body!!! I’m very upset that the FDA has decided for me that I cannot, at my advanced age, use a product I need… I would not be surprised if nursing homes, other care facilities and other people like me, begin having skin issues and infections they never had before. It is a shame and I guess there’s nothing I can do about it. At the very least, why couldn’t they make the product still available by prescription even, where a physician would advise a patient as to it’s use.

      As I said at the outset, it doesn’t make sense that you can put it in your mouth, but not as an also necessary ingredient for maintaining healthy skin care as well.

      1. Skin issues could also be caused by lack of healthy bacteria on the skin. Once you’ve killed off all the protective ones you have no choice but to keep killing off the bad ones. It’s just like your gut – lactobacillus, acidophilus and other good bacteria are absolutely essential to our health. Without them we get constant digestive problems and possibly even digestive cancers. Maybe you could look into probiotics for your skin. Much better for you as they will keep everything else healthy too.
        Here’s one person’s take on spraying good bacteria on himself… not sureI’d go the soap-free route, though! https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/78k4n4/showering-and-bathed-in-bacteria-instead-mother-dirt-aobiome-microbiome

        1. You are right that the skin needs balance, but the body operates as a whole and often the skin is telling us something else is going on that needs addressing. For example my sons eczema improved dramatically when he took a course of cleavers in milk, which helps his liver and whole system to clear successfully. Modern medicine can help, but often treats only the symptoms ‘presented’ not the person holistically. For that you need to see a naturopath. Money well spent.

          1. THATS 100,,, F.D.A is slowly reducing anything we can use to naturally cure ourselves,,Cause people are starting to wisen up, Most doctors are pushers of poisonous drugs that treat symptoms and dont solve anything,, And they are making trillions of dollars doing it…IM SO SICKENED OF BEING TOLD WHAT I CAN AND CANT USE…OR DO…IF ITS ONLY HURTING “MYSELF” THEN ISN’T MY DECISION…MAKE COMPANY LABEL & EXPLAIN INGREDIENTS, IT SHOULD BE THAT WAY ANY WAY,, BUT TO TAKE IT AWAY LIKE IM A 8 YEAR OLD KID THAT NEEDS TOLD WHAT TO DO….IM SO SICK OF THEM PUSHING HOW FREE AMERICA IS,,WHILE LITTERALLY TAKING AWAY OUR RIGHTS TO DO ANYTHING….BUT BET UR A$$ IF THEY CAN TAX THE SHIT OUT OF IT THEN ITS OKAY!!! SOON ENOUGH WE WILL BE ABLE TO BUY WEED & 8 BALL AT THE GAS STATION,,, BUT YOU GOTTA FIND THE GUY IN THE DARK ALLEY TO SELL YOU ANTIBIOTIC SOAPS…LOL…..HOW IS EVERYBODY NOT SEEING WHAT IS HAPPENING….IM STILL PISSED OFF IM FORCED TO WEAR A SEAT BELT,, I CAN UNDERSTAND UNDER 18,,,BUT SERIOUSLY IF I WANT TO TAKE THE CHANCE OF MY HEAD GOING THRU THE WINDSHIELD ITS MY GOD GIVEN RIGHT..
            I FEEL MORE LIKE A CHILD NOW THEN I DID AT 16, ONLY THE GOVERNMENT PUNISHES WAY HARDER…SWEET ,SEEET UNCLE SAM, IS MORE LIKE MEAN DAD WITH LEATHER BELT, AND MORE VIOLATING EVERY YEAR..

          2. I just want to share my experience with eczema…
            The only thing that helped my daughter was making baby bottles with LARGE amount of strawberry and almond milk blended ( just enough almond milk to make it drinkable, the one without carrageenan in it). I’m not sure what is about the strawberries in large quantity eaten every day… but it worked for us.

    4. It took me 20 years to discover a cure for my acne…..triclosan soap have kept me blemish free for over a year, now it’s banned….I wonder if dermatologist had anything to do with this…..they’ll be the only ones benefiting from people not having a home remedy for their skin problems…

      1. I had changed my diet, (including no dairy), and exercise regularly but the acne never went away.. A dermatologist recommended I use Cetaphil Antibacterial for my face, and honestly that’s what made my skin clear. Unfortunately I am unable to find another alternative to it… It’s frustrating honestly.

    5. EXACTLY! The face soap I’ve used for years now no longer has triclosan. A dermatologist recommended I use it and it has worked wonderfully. Now I can no longer get it. I’m so annoyed!

    6. Kim,
      Have you found a soap for your face. I used to use Cuticura Medicated with trilocarban/triclosan and now it is unavailable? Wondering what your remedy was?

      Michael

    7. I am sorry you are suffering. I do not know your full condition, but I do know that all skin conditions originate from within the body, not the surface of the skin, and although triclosan products are helping your symptoms, they are not treating the actual cause of your skin complaint. For this you need to look further for a holistic approach. Either help from a naturopath practising herbal medicine, or return to your doctor for a full assessment. Dermatologists are expensive I agree and not always the right path.

    8. I agree, such a terrible decision based on theoretical nonsense. Now i have bad acne.Thanks FDA (i hope you understand the sarcasm)

  3. Hmmm very interesting study i may have to second guess my antibacterial soap that i currently use, and start going the all natural route.

    1. I think it’s still here in Jacksonville,fla I will check today now I am curious I saw some last month.

    2. Im now on my 40s and use only water to clean my face. Have done for about 10 years. I use moisturisers afterwards I make myself. What a hippie I know, but it does work for me, and if I have a spot with a head now, which I do get, especially around the time of the month, they dry up without touching them in just one day! I do think its the skin being left to work without being stripped of its natural balance.

  4. which ingredients could corrode taps and radiators in the home if splashed onto these and not washed off with water

  5. This means that if you are washing your hands with antibacterial soap, you are exposing yourself and the environment to increased amounts of these chemicals without any measurable benefit.

  6. None of this is in the News. Instead, we have to listen to daily news about sex scandals, shootings… I think this is quite newsworthy, as most human beings use soap daily. It would be refreshing ( no pun intended) to listen to a News Story that actually “helps and informs” people, most of which use soap daily ( in some form or fashion). I would write the News agencies, but my experience has taught me they never listen, unless it is salacious. God Bless America.

  7. I will testify to the efficacy of the triclosan added to bar soap. I have used it for at least 2 decades to control boil breakouts I am prone to get. After using the first bar of the “new” formula I suddenly had a boil develop. I was so surprised after so many years without an incident. I looked at the Safeguard package and noticed it no longer said antibacterial. I called and learned the formula changed.
    Hey FDA, contact me about its usefulness. It works, well worked before this ridiculous ruling.

  8. This is completely disheartening that the FDA has made a half-hazard decision. If you ban it on the skin you should ban it in your mouth and also in hospitals and EVERYWHERE! This is outrageous. I’ve had adult cystic acne since I was 25 years old. Not only that I’ve had other skin conditions including “seborrheic dermatitis”, “rosacea”, “lichen planus”, and a host of other strange skin conditions. I’ve been to about 2 dozen dermatologists and finally one doctor told me to buy the Cetaphil Antibacterial Soap and I’ve been using it since! It took care of my facial cystic acne and also my body acne. This is a very horrific day for people that suffer from skin diseases. The FDA does not understand how serious this is for acne sufferers, especially when there IS NO CURE FOR ACNE! Why can’t they make it prescribed at least through your doctor? I’m so sickened by the FDA and others making decisions for me for us and for everyone! I just found out about this when i ran out of my soap I’ve been using and tried to find it but can’t now. BRING IT BACK or allow Doctors to Prescribe it! Your a bunch of fools for doing this when there are so many other dangerous things out there that need more attention. Nobody has been hurt by this , I’ve been using it since i was 25 and now i’m 45 years old, so I’ve been using this for 20 years without any issues! Stop
    this nonsense now and un-ban something that has helped me and others, why hasn’t someone come and asked my opinion on how it saved my skin, life, etc!?!? I was so embarrassed with my cystic facial and body acne and don’t know how i’m going to survive the embarrassing and painful breakouts now. Go ban something that is truly hurting people, this is helping people! This is in the same category as Pluto being banned as a planet! Bring them both back, COME ON with all this silliness!

    1. I too have several skin problems. The only thing that has kept me from photo therapy treatments three times a week was cetaphil soap. I can’t believe it was discontinued. I have suffered from boils, at least 8 biopsies it took over three years, three hospitalizations almost lost my life to skin infections. What patients who used this soap did anyone ask?

  9. These people kniw nothing about antibacterial ingredients. Tricolsan products is all I can use due to a condition I have. I cannot whatsoever use plain soap on my body. Regular soap DOES NOT kill bacteria! If I use regualr soap my condition flares! I am so angry I cannot but my soap/bodywash anymore. It is a struggle to find what I need now. All the FDA did was shut up complainers!

  10. I second what all of the other users of the Cetaphil Antibacterial soap have stated. Years and years or trying different things. Finally found the one thing that worked and they take it away. I am pissed.

  11. I recently read the Abstract and Summary of an article published at the U.S. National Library of Medicines Web Site, National Institutes of Health, J Food Prot. 2007 Dec;70(12):2873-7.

    The article was entitled ”Effect of hand wash agents on controlling the transmission of pathogenic bacteria from hands to food.”

    The findings of that study included the statement “The data thus demonstrate there is a greater potential to reduce the transmission and acquisition of disease through the use of an antimicrobial hand wash than through the use of plain soap.”

    Those findings appear to contradict the gist of this article which is “there has been no conclusive evidence to suggest household antibacterial soaps are an improvement over non-antibacterial soaps.” Further … “Washing with plain soap and water has been shown to reduce bacterial presence on hands by 82%, and studies upon studies point to the beneficial health impacts of washing with plain soap. Clearly, the chemical properties of plain soap and its tendency for increasing handwashing time are enough to dramatically increase the health of consumers without adding antibacterial compounds. So, while the FDA has banned household soaps containing many common antibacterial ingredients, handwashing with plain soap will remain a cornerstone of public health and should continue to be a major part of your daily hygiene.”

    It is the opinion of this writer that until the 2007 study is discredited one should, for purposes of personal hygiene and washing, use antibacterial hand soaps that are designed for and marketed towards home use.

  12. I am a 47 Year Young Male who’s Dermatologist recommended Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Antibacterial Soap Bar to resolve random, embarrassing and painful boils on my face, chest and shoulders. I was skeptical after having tried countless products including “Retin-A”. I was willing to try the Cetaphil product based on the recommendation of a new dermatologist who seemed to know his business, not to mention he uses (used) the product for his own skincare. Well, this was over 20 years ago. It wasn’t one week and I noticed not only the complete elimination of facial and body boils, but my skin looked and felt younger, cleaner and more vibrant. Since the ban on this product, I naturally started using Cetaphil Gentle Cleansimg Bar and even tried Cetaphil Deep Cleansimg Bar. Within one week a boil broke out, my skin started showing signs of unexplained redness and the pores on my face became highly visible. I have to also say how ticked I am at Cetaphil for not announcing this product elimination, which put me on a wild goose chase for several weeks chasing the product down. Nearly every retailer who once sold this product, all told me that the Antibacterial Bar was on backorder and to check back. After a few weeks of that I realized something was wrong. I still check the Cetaphil section every time I am ina retail center who supports Cetaphil and am happy to report that their Deep and Gentle Cleansimg Bars are not leaving the shelves. See what happens when shareholders of Cetaphil realize the drop in sales and the eventual lowered stock value. Thanks for protecting your customer base Cetaphil! During the one year period where you had an opportunity to demonstrate that your antibacterial product was in fact superior to non-antibacterial products by surveying why your customers use your product. Would these countless cases of your customers suffering through this change have not been enough to show the almighty FDA that there are those who benefit from these supposed caustic and harmful chemicals and without them, we digress. Shame on The FDA, shame on Cetaphil and shame on the outlandish bureaucracy of the system! If anyone finds an alternate solution, God Bless You in advance for writing. Thank you! Jeremy

    1. Same here, my ID doctor recommended Cetaphil Antibacterial Bar for the reoccurring painful boils problem(suffering since 10 years), that totally made my skin clear, now I ran out of the soap In February and searched about 25 retail stores in by neighborhood with no success, I’m disappointed. One last ray of hope is Ebay, it’s available on Ebay e-commerce website in limited quantities, so please go ahead, order from there and stock them up. I just ordered 10 items of 3-packs, that will take me through 3 years, hope some new solution would come up in the future for the boils problem.

      1. I picked up MRSA in a bug bit. After a week in Hospital Quarantine & pumped full of antibiotics I was sent home with a bag full of Pharmasuticals.
        I was told by the Wound Dr. To Use Antibacterial Soap to shower & wash my hands often.
        MRSA is a viurs that stays dormant & can flare up anytime.
        After I was home a few days the wound started hurting so bad & turning red hot coming back with a vengeance.
        As a child my Father believed in holistic health. He had honey bee hives. We used honey for everything & all wounds. Plus we took Vitamins. Doubled Vit. C 1,000 for colds & flue & a TBL spoon of Honey to coat your throat.
        So when the wound started to flare up I decided to try our old ways. I crushed up a Vit. C in Honey like a paste , I coated the wound with it covered it with gaze.
        Within 15 min. The pain was gone within 2 days the wound was closed & mostly gone.
        I’ve had a couple flare ups they start with a blister .
        I don’t brake it ,I cover it in the Honey & Vit.C. gaze. In a few days it’s gone never turning into a wound.
        The Big Bugs of Germ’s that are now resistant to antibiotics needs to be treated with Honey. It is an antibacterial & antifungal. It Also Promotes Cell Regeneration.
        Look up Honey & it’s compounds. In WW1 it was used on the battle field. When I was a teenager I was burned on my thigh from grion to knee, by a pot of hot coffee. 2 & 3rd. degree burns.
        The Dr. Everyday removed skin on the burn , only the honey kept the pain down & promoted healing. I’m 62 now with no scares.
        I know it works I’ve used it all my life on my kids ,farm animals , dog’s & cat’s.
        But I still think it’s wrong to take away a soap Dr.’s recommend using I used antibacterial soap all my life. If your skin gets use to it , it only makes sense when you stop, your going to be more susceptible to the germs. There are Cancer Cures out there too but because of the Pharma. Comps. Who
        Don’t have the Patton on them Dr.s continue to use rediation & chemo. Killing children & people. It’s against the Drs. Oth To Do No Harm .
        But $$$ Speaks Louder Than the Cries of the People.

    2. Ok if you have a skin condition, then yes Cetaphil is useful. But its not necessary for anyone who hasn’t got a skin condition / problem, as you have. Regular normal soap works, fine.

  13. Has anyone heard anything about boric acid? I wouldn’t be surprised if they tried to ban that as well since no one can patent it. It’s always about money. Without antibacterial soaps they can keep prescribing more antibiotics, which also, by the way, can cause bacteria to mutate and thus creating a race of “super bacteria”.

  14. There have to be more to this…..the one thing all acne suffers can testify actually works they go and ban it….maybe dermatologist had something to do with this…..now we’re back at their mercy…..

  15. Has anyone tried the new antibacterial soaps that companies are making now? I’m curious to see if they help those with dreaded skin conditions. Thanks so much!

    1. YES! Used these soaps for several months, but had to stop using them because they dried my skin out so bad i itched all the time, caused more skin issues than before i used them, now i’m left using regular Aveeno soap, all my skin issues went away except for my cystic acne, sheborric dermatitis, and lichen planus…the cetaphil kept those at bay, but now since I cannot get the cetaphil antibacterial soap AND the NEWER antibacterial soaps are TOO HARSH, i’m left to and back to taking amoxicillian pills, using ketocotazole creams and shampoos daily, and dealing with this horrible issue. Don’t know what studies they did, but clearly DID NOT do these studies on humans who are suffering from these horrific skin issues…probably used lab animals which do not relate to human skin conditions. I’m sick and tired of people telling others on what they can and cannot do. Just plain stupid. Like another said, why can’t they make it a prescription by your doctor now??? Instead they totally got rid of it…if that’s the case, why not get rid of ALL antibiotics. Dumb

  16. After using a bar of Dial soap containing triclocarbon, I got a bacterial infection in the genitals. My doctor said we have a balance down there, just like we do in our GI tract. It took five rounds of antibiotic to clear two bad bacteria, one of which had mutated. I am otherwise healthy. It’s been miserable and I’m not back to normal yet. I’m glad this ingredient is being removed.

    1. The newer antibacterial dial soap is horrid…I stupidly bought several of them thinking it would be banned, then went through two of the bars, dried my skin out so bad it caused manic itching…had to stop using it, now i have a drawer full of that stupid Dial triclocarbon soap that i don’t know what to do with. Nope, did nothing for me, i’m slowly now just using for hand soap, but still is pretty darn harsh. It’s truly too bad since many people suffer from true skin issues and some are chronic before using antibiotics, and people with these issues do not understand and will never understand, people making a fuss about superbacteria. But if they had these horrific conditions they wouldn’t care, they would be using this soap because it’s better to take a chance of building superbacteria than to live with horrific skin issues your whole life. What a real shame for those who truly need this.

  17. I’m not a doctor, but I do know some science (retired science teacher with AB in biology and MAT in science education).
    My daughter developed a severe swelling and itching of her genital area about 16 years ago which couldn’t be explained or helped by local doctors. She went on vacation to a “less developed” area where they didn’t have chemicals in the soap. Her swelling immediately improved greatly. She looked closely at her soap at home and it had triclosan. Turns out she either had an allergy to triclosan, or had an explosion of triclosan-resistant bacteria. She changed to regular simple soap and has been problem-free since.
    With my scientific background, I’d like to suggest that the commenters who have boils, etc. may have set themselves up by using triclosan-containing soap, which paved the way for those “super-bacteria” to thrive. Now they’re throwing more chemicals at their problem. About 65 years ago, my brother had boils when he was about age 9, and somehow he got rid of them without triclosan…there must be other ways!
    My local stores are still carrying soap with this chemical, and my 80+ age husband won’t read the labels. I just sent him back to the store to return three bars of the stuff. GRRRRR!!!

  18. Dr Guo said while it was well-known the overuse and misuse of antibiotics could create ‘superbugs’, researchers were unaware that other chemicals could also induce antibiotic resistance until now.

    “Wastewater from residential areas has similar or even higher levels of antibiotic resistant bacteria and antibiotic resistance genes compared to hospitals, where you would expect greater antibiotic concentrations,” he said.

    “We then wondered whether non-antibiotic, antimicrobial (NAAM) chemicals such as triclosan can directly induce antibiotic resistance,” Dr Guo said.

    “These chemicals are used in much larger quantities at an everyday level, so you end up with high residual levels in the wider environment, which can induce multi-drug resistance.

    “This discovery provides strong evidence that the triclosan found in personal care products that we use daily is accelerating the spread of antibiotic resistance.”

    Advanced Water Management Centre Director, Professor Zhiguo Yuan, said the discovery should be a wake-up call to re-evaluate the potential impact of such chemicals.

    “While the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has banned the use of triclosan in antibacterial soap, the previous lack of unequivocal evidence prevented such a policy being adopted in other countries,” Professor Yuan said.

    Antimicrobial resistance has become a major threat to public health globally with approximately 700,000 people a year dying from antimicrobial-resistant infections.

    The Review on Antimicrobial Resistance report predicted this will reach 10 million deaths a year by 2050 if no action is taken now.

  19. I hope that the soap industry can appeal the decision and come with some evidence that triclosan might be beneficial for some of us. I hope we can still be able to make our decision…like with cigarettes.

  20. Moreover, antibacterial soap products contain chemical ingredients, such as triclosan and triclocarban, which may carry unnecessary risks given that their benefits are unproven.

    “Indeed, recent research suggests these products may encourage the growth of “superbugs” resistant to antimicrobial agents, a problem when these bacteria run rampant, turning into a dangerous infection that cannot be treated with available medication.

    For such infections there are lots meds and solutions available online at amazon, ebay, walmart, mygenericpharmacy etc.

  21. My heart goes out to sufferers of boils and other skin conditions who were helped by the old . However. the antibacterials marketed their way into ordinary bathrooms and kitchens where there were no significant benefits, but significant downsides.
    Seems like it should be marketed, if not prescribed, for people who need it for medical purposes. Large-scale use that creates mighty mutant staph and MRSA bugs is a legitimate public health issue. I would like to see Triclosan products in the aisle with treatments for psoriasis and other skin problems, not on hand soap shelf, any more than I would want to see chocolate covered aspirin in the candy aisle because some people have headaches.

  22. No, we don’t need anti-bacterial soap. Not only do they kill the helpful bacteria, but very often the anti-bacterial ingredients are not very people friendly either. Normal, everyday soap is just fine.

  23. In the meantime, there’s every reason to think that normal soap is still a great defense against infection—and it’s actually a method that can inform future strategies against bugs. While the classic combination doesn’t kill germs, it does mechanically remove them from your hands, with the help of a bit of chemistry. Basic soaps are composed of water-soluble fatty acid potassium salts. Imagine a negatively charged “head” that is hydrophilic, or water-loving. It’s attached to a long hydrophobic hydrocarbon chain. When you’re washing your hands, the tail grabs on to organic compounds like soil, food, bacteria, and viruses—and the head pulls all that stuff away from your skin, disrupting the microbe’s ability to latch on again. Now trapped in fat-on-the-inside, water-on-the-outside globules, the microbes get easily washed down the drain.

    I am always buying medicated products from mygenericpharmacy and amazon and i most relying on them.

  24. Lichen Planus is caused by a diet that is out-of-balance and oversaturated with too much Omega 6 and not enough Omega 3 oils, which include the fish oils, flax oil, and others. Many skin conditions are caused by this imbalance. We need to add more Omega 3 oils – and even eat more fish that is rich in Omega 3 – to bring our body back into balance from the over-saturation of Omega 6 oils, which are the cheap oils, and not as healthy for us as Omega 3’s. If people stop eating refined, processed foods … like crackers, chips, et – that have processed Omega 6 vegetable oils, the Lichen Planus goes away. I know because I had Lichen Planus and did research on it. I stopped eating a lot of crackers and chips, started making sure I got the right kinds of oils in supplement form like fish oil, salmon oil, and even though it’s not Omega 3 – olive oil – the Lichen Planus went away. Using antibacterial soap for Lichen Planus and many other conditions is unnecessary when we eat a diet rich in Omega 3 oils. Your entire body will benefit from the Omega 3 oils.

  25. Anti-bacterial soaps and gels are useless and may cause harm, 200 scientists and medics have warned.

    The consensus statement, published in the scientific journal Environmental Health Perspectives also cautions against the use of antimicrobial agents in food storage containers, exercise mats and paints.

    Environmental health professors said “plain soap and water” was the best way to protect against illness.

    If still have some problem after using Antibacterial soap just speak to your doctor. I am always buying doctor prescribed meds from mygenericpharmacy or any other online store.

  26. Several antibacterial soaps available in the market contain triclosan and triclocarban. Marketing of over-the-counter consumer wash products containing both chemicals was banned by the USFDA in September, 2016.

    If still have some problem after using Antibacterial soap just speak to your doctor. I am always buying doctor prescribed meds from mygenericpharmacy or any other online store.

  27. The problem of diseases being spread by dirty hands is not just that antibacterial soaps aren’t doing as good a job as they promise it’s that the public is not washing their hands adequately enough, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Nowadays there aretoo many online stores but all are not reliable, they are selling cheap meds only but result is not concern for them, i am only visiting reputed online store like mygenericpharmacy.

  28. First, I agree, I don’t like the FDA making this decision for me. I can speak directly from experience. Worked in Bangladesh for almost 2 years building a power station. Filthiest place I have ever been in my life. I was using Dove soap at the time, because it had the absolute minimum number of additives. I ended up getting a staph infection that would not go away and took months to get rid of. However, getting rid of it turned out to be relatively simple. I switched to Dial Anti-bacterial soap and it cleared it up quickly. I had also used “prickly heat” soaps I bought in the Singapore airport, but found that Dial Anti-bacterial was just as effective and easier to find. Simply switching to a soap with anti-bacterial properties got rid of one of the most painful recurring infections I have ever had in my life. I don’t care what the scientists say, I know what worked.

    1. zbd34: now imagine you have that nasty infection, went to the doctor and he said to you: I’m sorry, there is no cure because the bug is resistant to antibiotics due indiscriminate use of antibiotics for years as standard hotel soap.
      Be glad it was still not the case.

      Antibiotics should be prescribed. Always.

  29. Antibacterial soaps have the potential to create antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The reason that the FDA is making manufacturers prove these products’ efficacy is because of a range of possible health risks associated with triclosan, and bacterial resistance is first on the list.
    I am always buying medicated products from mygenericpharmacy and amazon and i most relying on them.

  30. Democrats … they just LOVE interfering in our lives. All the while pushing FAKE SCIENCE and FAKE NEWS to convince those dumb enough to believe them.

  31. Very upsetting. Colgate Total with triclosan was perfect. I loved it. Upsetting that they’re banning this chemical based on hypothesis. The “science” is obviously not settled.

    Since using other toothpaste my teeth are slowly becoming more stained and they feel not as healthy. (Over a year’s time.)

    Also, I read an article long ago that diabetics should use triclosan toothpaste to stop the bacteria that causes mouth problems common in diabetics. The government is making things worse for many… as usual.

    They should have just put a warning label on it, like those psycho Californians put on EVERYTHING. I think we should put warning labels on Liberal lawmakers. Stay the eff out of my medicine cabinet! Stay out of my life!

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