Antibacterial soap makers will have to prove that their
products are more efficient in fighting germs than ordinary soap
Prompted by a lawsuit filed by the Natural Resources Defense
Council, U.S. regulatory authority, the Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) issued the new rule for the antibacterial
soap makers to ensure safety for consumers. This proposed rule
does not apply to hand sanitizers, wipes or antibacterial
products used in health care settings.
The rule also holds that if the products fail to prove their
efficiency, the manufacturers will either have to reformulate per
the product claims, or re-label them to keep them on store
The regulatory watchdog has given a one year grace period to
the soap producers to submit data to support an antibacterial
The FDA is of the opinion that the effectiveness of the soaps
with antibacterial ingredients, such as triclosan, has not been
tested for the efficacy of their germ-fighting capacity. The
authority also feels that prolonged exposure to such
antibacterial ingredients may cause hormonal imbalance. Triclosan
also makes bacteria resistant to antibiotics which in turn may
lower the effectiveness of several medical treatments.
Triclosan has been used as an antimicrobial agent by surgeons
since 1970s. They are essentially pesticides which were initially
not intended for consumer use. There has been a widespread
concern after consumer product manufacturers started using them
Pressured by growing consumer awareness of the toxicity in
several everyday cleaning and beauty products, many manufacturers
and retailers are taking steps to rid their products of these
chemicals. In Sep 2013,
Procter & Gamble Company
) announced that they will be removing triclosan and di-ethyl
phthalate (DEP) from their products by 2014.
New Brunswick, New Jersey-based company
, Johnson & Johnson
) has ensured none of its baby-care products contain triclosan.
It also revealed plans to eliminate the ingredient from adult
items by 2015.
Supermarket chains have also reacted to the new FDA standards.
In Oct 2013,
) unveiled a new safety standard that will assess more household
cleaners and beauty supplies and remove unnecessary and
potentially harmful chemicals from their products.
) formulated a new chemical policy, effective Jan 2014. It sent
directives to manufacturers to reduce or eliminate about 10
chemicals commonly used in beauty products, household cleaners
The proposed FDA rule is particularly significant as it would
mean that several items, with which U.S. consumers are
particularly familiar, may disappear from the shelves. Moreover,
it will affect the huge antibacterial soap market, which forms
almost half of $900 million liquid soap market.
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