Well, not really. But what it does want, is to keep you healthy. If you thought that using antibacterial soap is actually a good idea, then the FDA would like you to re-think that. In a recent article posted by the NY Times it states that the FDA banned the sale of soaps containing certain antibacterial chemicals. It turns out that the antibacterial soap industry has failed to provide evidence that antibacterial chemicals, such as triclosan and triclocarban, do more good than harm. In other words, the risks outweigh the benefits when using antibacterial soap.
“The chemicals were originally used by surgeons to wash their hands before operations, and their use exploded in recent years as manufacturers added them to a variety of products, including mouthwash, laundry detergent, fabrics and baby pacifiers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found the chemicals in the urine of three-quarters of Americans.”
As always, some self interest groups are trying to push their own agenda by opposing the FDA’s decision. One such organization is “The American Cleaning Institute.” In their press release they expressed their opposition to the FDA’s ruling. They make it seem like the FDA would like to keep you dirty, and unhealthy:
“Antibacterial soaps are critical to public health because of the importance hand hygiene plays in the prevention of infection.”
The American Cleaning Institute makes it sound like if you don’t wash your hands using these chemicals you put yourself at risk. But this is not the case. According to the FDA using only soap and water will produce the same results. For now, the FDA’s decision only covers consumer soaps and hand-washes. There is still a long way to go until these chemicals will be removed from other personal care products. But this ruling gets us one step closer to having cleaner and healthier hands!