FDA's Newly Proposed Rule Analyzes Antibacterial Soap Effectiveness

The FDA proposed a new rule designed to determine both the safety and effectiveness of antibacterial hand soap and body washes

According to a press release from its website, the FDA has issued a proposed rule that will require manufacturers to demonstrate the safety and effectiveness of their antibacterial soaps. The companies will have to prove their products are safe for long-term use and more effective than basic soap and water for preventing the spread of infections.

The proposed rule only affects soap and body wash products, not wipes, sanitizers or products used in healthcare settings, according to the press release. In addition, the proposed rule is part of a larger initiative of the FDA to review the safety of ingredients used in antibacterial products. According to the FDA, there is currently no evidence that suggests antibacterial products are more effective at preventing illness than soap and water, and in fact, some data suggests long-term exposure to products with antibacterial ingredients can be detrimental.

The FDA will be “reevaluating what data are needed to classify the active ingredients in consumer antibacterial products as ‘generally recognized as safe and effective’ or GRASE.” Visit the FDA’s website for more information. 

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