The Food and Drug Administration has washed its hands of the products – saying there is no scientific evidence that they are better than plain soap and water.
Antibacterial soaps were banned from the US market on Friday in a final ruling by the Food and Drug Administration – which said that manufacturers had failed to prove the cleansers were safe or more effective than normal products.
Dr Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA’s center for evaluation and research said that certain antimicrobial soaps may not actually serve any health benefits at all.
‘Consumers may think antibacterial washes are more effective at preventing the spread of germs but we have no scientific evidence that they are any better than plain soap and water’ she said in a statement.
‘In fact some data suggests that antibacterial ingredients may do more harm than good over the long term’.
Manufacturers had failed to show either the safety of ‘long-term daily use”’or that the products were ‘more effective than plain soap and water in preventing illness and the spread of certain infections’.