Well, this is enormously big news:
The FDA today banned the use of triclosan as an ingredient in antibacterial soaps, saying that such cleaners were no better than regular soap.
Lots and lots and lots of other stories about this. See for example
The ban applies to (added some links 9/3 to Pubchem entries for these)
- Iodophors (Iodine-containing ingredients)
- Iodine complex (ammonium ether sulfate and polyoxyethylene sorbitan monolaurate)
- Iodine complex (phosphate ester of alkylaryloxy polyethylene glycol)
- Nonylphenoxypoly (ethyleneoxy) ethanoliodine (also known as Byacin, Iosan, Iozan)
- Poloxamer–iodine complex
- Povidone-iodine 5 to 10 percent
- Undecoylium chloride iodine complex (also seems to be known as Emulsept)
- Methylbenzethonium chloride
- Phenol (greater than 1.5 percent)
- Phenol (less than 1.5 percent)
- Secondary amyltricresols
- Sodium oxychlorosene
- Triple dye
And if you want … become a Guardian of Microbial Diversity
Update 1: 5:30 PM Sept 2
Lots and lots of additional stories about this. Here are some links:
Also – some quotes from the FDA Press Release
“Consumers may think antibacterial washes are more effective at preventing the spread of germs, but we have no scientific evidence that they are any better than plain soap and water,” said Janet Woodcock, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER). “In fact, some data suggests that antibacterial ingredients may do more harm than good over the long-term.”
Antibacterial hand and body wash manufacturers did not provide the necessary data to establish safety and effectiveness for the 19 active ingredients addressed in this final rulemaking.
Update 2: 745 PM 9/2
Fixed the list (had previously had too many items under the Iodine group) and fixed the image.
Update 3: 9:20 AM 9/3
Some more stories worth looking at
- New York Times: F.D.A. Bans Sale of Many Antibacterial Soaps, Saying Risks Outweigh Benefits
- Bruce Lee at Forbes: FDA Is Cleaning Up Antibacterial Soap
Made a Storify of some responses
“A lot of the marketing has been over-the-top germophobia—kill all germs everywhere, and we will all be safer seems to be the thought,” Jonathan Eisen, a University of California, Davis, evolutionary biologist who studies the ecology and evolution of microbial communities, told me. Biologist Eisen isn’t so sure. He was surprised to find triclosan in his toothpaste and blogged about it a couple of years ago.
“Overall, it seems like that (triclosan in toothpaste) was mostly about marketing, too,” Eisen told me. “And given that there is growing evidence that messing with the human microbiome has some risks, putting antimicrobials in toothpaste when the benefits are doubtful seems, well, unwise.”