Are antibacterial soaps safe?

November 18, 2016

On September 2, 2016, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) imposed a ban on 19 active ingredients utilized in the manufacture of antibacterial soaps and handwashes. These ingredients included two chemicals called triclosan and triclocarban which are most frequently used in antibacterial soaps. FDA has deferred law-making regarding other ingredients such as chloroxylenol and has proposed that these ingredients be subjected to extensive testing to evaluate their safety and effectiveness.

Triclosan and triclocarban have been proven to be incredibly toxic and hazardous. Triclosan disrupts thyroid functioning as well as the regulation of hormones. It can pass through the skin and is a potential carcinogen.

Moreover, these ingredients kill the harmless and beneficial bacteria that play a vital role in preventing attacks by invading germs. Thus, their extensive use is bolstering the menace of antibacterial resistance which leads to germs that are hard to kill. Antibacterial resistance has become a major concern for scientists and clinical professionals all around the world.

Products containing aforementioned chemicals are being extensively used and advertised. The manufacturers utilize celebrities and advertisements about childcare and parenting as a means of marketing. I appeal to the public to check the labels and cease the purchase of the products that contain these chemicals and take them off the market.

Fatima Iftikhar
Rawalpindi

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