Over the years, we’ve discussed several times on Redline the fact that antibacterial soaps likely do more harm than good. Triclosan, the stuff used to kill bacteria, has some certifiably bad effects, and as we’ve discussed in the past, these soaps may actually be selecting for resistance in bacteria. Now, the FDA’s got into the act with a recent requirement that the makers of these soaps have to demonstrate two things: that their product’s more effective than plain old soap and water, and that the stuff’s actually safe.
The FDA claims there’s no evidence that triclosan soap is any more effective at washing away germs than non-antibacterial soap and water. What’s more, according to recent studies, triclosan can “disrupt hormones critical for reproduction and development, at least in lab animals, and contribute to the development of resistant bacteria.”
Which sounds an awful lot like what you and I have been saying for years. Now Minnesota has, in a rather half-fast way, banned antibacterial soaps (the law doesn’t take effect until January 2017), and it’s a safe bet that others will follow their lead.
It’s long overdue.