The People's Perspective on Medicine

FDA Says Lose the Triclosan; Use Ordinary Soap and Water

Soap hand wash washing clean

The FDA is cracking down on anti-bacterial soaps. Such products have been on the market for decades and are widely used by millions of Americans in the hopes of preventing infections.

Nonetheless, the Food and Drug Administration says that “there is currently no evidence that they are any more effective at preventing illness than washing with plain soap and water.” Triclosan, one of the most common ingredients in antibacterial liquid soaps, is a suspected hormone disruptor. In addition, some scientists are concerned that bacteria may be developing resistance to this and similar compounds.

The FDA is requiring the makers of antibacterial soaps to prove that their products are better than simple soap and water by the end of 2016. The new rule will not affect hand sanitizers.

Previous studies have suggested that triclosan may contribute to allergies and have a negative effect on muscle.  That should be reason enough to rejoice that the FDA is finally taking some action.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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I’ve never been able to be around anything that contains Triclosan or Microban. I get a terrible headache, shortness of breath and asthma symptoms. And my eyes, nose, throat, and lungs burn. I can get hives and a rash from the fumes, too. Good thing I have to avoid it, because I have hypothyroid disease, and Triclosan has a bad effect on the thyroid.

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