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The FDA Just Banned a Bunch of Chemicals Commonly Used in Handsoap

USA, New Jersey, Jersey City, Close up of woman washing her handsUSA, New Jersey, Jersey City, Close up of woman washing her hands

You might want to rethink the way you’re washing your hands.

On Friday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a rule prohibiting the marketing of soaps that contain certain chemical ingredients.

The ruling applies to products that contain one or more of 19 ingredients, including the most commonly used ingredients triclosan and triclocarban. It does not affect hand sanitizers, antibacterial wipes, or products used in health settings.

“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,” said Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, in a statement. “In fact, some data suggests that antibacterial ingredients may do more harm than good over the long-term.”


Manufacturers have one year to remove products that don’t meet the new requirements from the marketplace or reformulate existing products.