On September 2nd 2016, the FDA announced that over-the-counter antiseptic washes containing any of a list of nearly 20 active ingredients are to cease being marketed. Triclosan and triclocarban are the most commonly used of the 19 ingredients. This new ruling does not pertain to antibacterial products used in the healthcare sector, or consumer hand sanitizers or wipes. The FDA advises to continue to use plain soap and water to prevent the spread of germs, and if only hand sanitizer is available, to use alcohol-based hand sanitizer with a percent alcohol content of at least 60%.
The list of banned ingredients can be viewed below:
|Do Not Use List|
|Hexachlorophene||Undecoylium chloride iodine complex|
|Ammonium ether sulfate||Phenol less than 1.5%, and greater than 1.5%|
|Polyoxyethylene sorbitan monolaurate||Phosphate ester of alkylaryloxy polyethylene glycol|
|Nonylphenoxypol ethanoliodine||Secondary amyltricresols|
|Sodium oxychlorosene||Tribromsalan & Triclocarban|
According to the FDA, personal care manufacturers have yet to prove these ingredients are safe to use daily long-term, and are more effective than simple soap and water. These manufacturers have 12 months to reformulate their anti-bacterial soaps, or to change the product labeling so as to not make a drug claim. Brands such as Johnson and Johnson and Procter and Gamble have already begun to phase out and reformulate their anti-bacterial washes.
“Using these products might give people a false sense of security. If you use these products because you think they protect you more than soap and water, that’s not correct. If you use them because of how they feel, there are many other products that have similar formulations but won’t expose your family to unnecessary chemicals” -Theresa M. Michele, MD, of the FDA’s Division of Non-prescription Drug Products