FDA orders antibacterial chemicals removed from soaps

Soaps containing the antibacterial chemical triclosan are displayed on a shelf at a Minneapolis pharmacy Monday, May 19, 2014. Gov. Mark Dayton on Friday signed a bill to make Minnesota the first state to ban the use of triclosan in retail consumer cleaning products, starting Jan. 1, 2017. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

WASHINGTON (AP) – The federal government is banning more than a dozen chemicals long-used in antibacterial soaps and washes, saying manufacturers have failed to show that they are safe and prevent the spread of germs.

The Food and Drug Administration’s Dr. Janet Woodcock says there’s no scientific evidence the products are any better than plain soap and water.

Friday’s decision primarily targets two once-popular ingredients – triclosan and triclocarban – that some research suggests can interfere with hormone levels and spur drug-resistant bacteria. A cleaning industry spokesman said most companies have already reformulated their products.

In late 2013, the FDA told manufacturers they must show their products are safe and effective. Regulators said Friday the data submitted did not meet federal standards to establish safety and effectiveness for the chemicals.

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