The Food and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned over a dozen chemicals used in antibacterial soaps on Friday, saying that soap manufacturers had failed to show that they were safe for use and whether they actually helped kill germs.
"We have no scientific evidence that they are any better than plain soap and water," said Dr. Janet Woodcock, the Food and Drug Administration' drug center director, in a statement.
Which chemicals were banned and why
The FDA's decision is primarily targeting two rather common ingredients, triclosan and triclocarban. Some early, limited research on animals suggested that these chemicals can interfere with hormone levels and create drug-resistant bacteria.
"Consumers may think antibacterial washes are more effective at preventing the spread of germs," Woodcock said,
"In fact, some data suggests that antibacterial ingredients may do more harm than good over the long-term."
The 19 banned chemicals have been under examination for a long time and a cleaning industry spokesman said that most soap companies have already removed them from their soaps and washes.