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FDA Conducts Review of Antibacterial Soap Ingredients

Update Date: May 03, 2013 09:32 AM EDT
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One of the most popular products that can be found in any one’s homes, antibacterial soap, are being reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its safety. According to the FDA, antibacterial soap contains the ingredient triclosan, which is an antibiotic used in nearly 70 percent of hand and body soaps. Although these products have been a staple for years, the FDA fear that they could in fact be harmful and thus, the agency has decided to test the safety of this particular ingredient on both humans and the environment.

Triclosan is considered to be a very powerful antibiotic and when it was first introduced over 40 years ago, it was approved quickly since there were not that many regulations on chemicals as there are today. Although triclosan can be very effective in killing germs, researchers are not too sure of its safety when it is repeatedly use on human skin. Even though the study is not finished, previous studies have concluded that this antibiotic can be dangerous.

In one study, the ingestion of the bacteria disturbed the gut bacteria found in mice, which made them more vulnerable to colitis, an autoimmune disease involving inflammation of the colon. In a 2008 study, the U.S. centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) discovered triclosan in the urine of 75 percent of the sample group of 2,517. Even though this study did not find negative side effects of this antibiotic, the fact that a huge percentage of people had it in their urine was alarming.

Although nothing has been concluded about triclosan’s safety, research has shown that it could pose a danger to the environment. The antibiotic often ends up in the oceans, where it will subsequently kill the bacteria there and threaten the existing marine ecosystems. Company Johnson & Johnson has announced that it will plan to remove the antibiotic from baby products as well as adult toiletries.

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