FDA to Regulate Harmful Anti-bacterial Soaps! Yippee!

Finally, after over 5 years of pleading, the FDA does something I can get behind! As I wrote in my book, the FDA had planned to investigate the health and safety of anti-bacterial chemicals like triclosan, a very common ingredient in hand soaps, deodorants, and even toothpaste and make a decision on whether regulations were appropriate.  Well after their investigation, the FDA announced their decision to regulate not only consumer products containing triclosan, but also the use of antibiotics in livestock.  They claim that there is enough evidence to show that the use of these products leads to human antibiotic resistance and illness.

livestock antibiotics

Contrary to the false propagated belief that the use of antibiotics in livestock makes the food safer, the primary use of antibiotics in livestock is to make larger animals and more profits…. and we know the use of antibiotics leads to illness.  Eating livestock that have been treated with antibiotics affects the antibiotic resistance in the humans who eat them as well as pollute the groundwater and surrounding areas with antibiotic run off.  This is having a huge effect on un-targeted animals and wildlife.  The FDA will regulate “some use” of these antibiotics, but the entire regulation is not entirely clear.  This is just one of the dozens of reasons I have phased meat out of my life.  Don’t want it.  Don’t miss it.

The use of triclosan and triclocarban containing soaps also have hormonal properties….something we’ve known for years.

A statement from the FDA says:

“In rat studies, we’ve seen decreases in thyroid hormone levels, and in some cell-based systems, we’ve seen changes in cells’ ability to respond to estrogen and testosterone,” she said. “The challenge is trying to understand what those mean for effects on humans.”

Read the official FDA release here

Well, FDA, there’s more to the story than that.  There is also evidence that trilosan when it mixes with tap water, breaks down into cancer causing compounds.

Under the new regulations, the manufacturers of antibacterial soaps would have to show that there is a just reason for the antibacterial part of the soap and that it cleans better than regular soap and water alone.  There is substantial evidence to show that washing for less than a minute using friction (rubbing hands together) and using plain soap and water is just as effective, if not more so, than using the antibacterial soaps.

But don’t be expecting any changes in the products you see on the shelves and time soon.  In it’s ever-loving speediness, the FDA won’t have their plans finalized until September of 2016, and the regulations won’t be slated to take effect until Sept 2017.   They’ve been “discussing” this issue of safety since 2009 although evidence has been  piled up in their office for to show that that triclosan is harmful.  Ah yes…the motto of the FDA “Better late than never”.

I hope that's not anti-bacterial soap!

I hope that’s not anti-bacterial soap!

Excluded from the regulations are hospitals.  My hope is that a safe alternative will be developed for this purpose.  I think I’m OK with that, except for the employees that are exposing themselves on a daily basis.

Proper hand washing is as easy as wet, lather, friction for 20 seconds, rinse, dry.  If you need pictures and more text you can find it here.

I urge you to check your personal care products not only for triclosan and triclocarban, but for other harmful chemcials like parabens, parfum, artificial dyes, aluminum, DEA, TEA, phthalates, DMDM hydantoin, and a host of others.  It’s better to just know the ingredients in the list than have to look any of them up.  I have been using Dr Bronners for years.  They make products for all areas of your life and are fair trade and treat their workers pretty nice too.  Read the doc’s story…it’s pretty amazing.

Although the FDA is taking action here, please don’t forget it was the FDA that gave triclosan its approval in 1979.  We’ve had to wait 35 years for them to say “oops”. Don’t wait for them to keep you safe.  That’s your job.

Great triclosan resource

Categories: cancer, cancer prevention, environmental hazards, health, household chemicals

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