Anti-bacterial soap may not be effective and could pose a danger

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Posted: Tuesday, December 17, 2013 5:54 pm | Updated: 10:49 am, Wed Dec 18, 2013.

The FDA may soon require manufacturers of antibacterial hand soap and body wash to prove their products are more effective than plain soap and water and safe. All this amid concerns of potential health risks.

The expression I'm going to wash your mouth out with soap may soon be used with a hazardous to your health disclaimer, and washing your hands with antibacterial soap may not work as well as you think.

Sarasota resident Susie Chinn said, she uses anti-bacterial soap but now, she is concerned.

"I was under the impression that they really do kill the germs and that they're better to use than regular soap. But, now I question that." She added, "I think its wonderful the FDA is coming out and questioning these soaps because if they're dangerous, that's horrible."

Chinn is referring to the active ingredient Triclosan used in antibacterial products currently under FDA review for both effectiveness and safety. "I think, the more chemicals on your body, the more dangerous it is to you." Said Chinn.

Cindy Stutler an infection control preventionist, of Doctors Hospital of Sarasota explained Triclosan's function in soap.

"Well, it kills bacteria." She said,

But, there is fear and now the anti-fungal, anti-bacterial agent is under scrutiny. Stutler said, "I wouldn't really be worried at this time, just because there's no evidence to show that it's a problem." And, its easy to find out if a product contains Tryclosan said Stutler. "It should be listed on the label."

Chinn said for now, she will play it safe and limit her use of products containing Triclosan.

"I don't use an anti bacterial soap on my body, I like to use just natural, real soap, that's much kinder and gentler to your body." She said, "It may not be the best for our health." For now, she will wait until the jury is out.

Companies have until December 2014 to submit data and studies.

The FDA wants to finalize the rule and determine whether these products are safe and effective by September 2016.

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