FDA: Your Antibacterial Soap May Be No Better Than My Regular Soap

Responding to concerns from Congress, the FDA announced today that they are in the process of reviewing how consumers use triclosan, an antibacterial agent used in soap and many other products. And while the FDA says it doesn’t have enough info to tell people not to use soaps containing triclosan, it also doesn’t see any evidence that adding triclosan to soap makes any difference.

Reads a statement posted on the FDA’s site:

At this time, the agency does not have evidence that triclosan in antibacterial soaps and body washes provides any benefit over washing with regular soap and water.

In January, Rep. Edward J. Markey, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and the Environment, sent a letter to the FDA asking them to look into triclosan:

Despite the fact that this chemical is found in everything from soaps to socks, there are many troubling questions about triclosan’s effectiveness and potentially harmful effects, especially for children

While they complete their look into triclosan, the FDA has also posted a document of things you should know about the antibacterial and fun facts about triclosan like:

* It was first registered as a pesticide in 1969
* Triclosan is incorporated in conveyor belts, fire hoses, dye bath vats, or ice-making equipment as an antimicrobial pesticide.

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.