The FDA Has Banned 19 Ingredients From Hand Soap Because They Don't Do a Damn Thing

Image via Shutterstock.
Image via Shutterstock.

I love nothing more than a good anti-bacterial scrub under scalding water, getting into every crack and crevice, prying under each nail bed, slapping and clapping my sudsy hands until they’re lobster red, then standing by the bathroom door until some rube turns the shit-smeared knob for me. Too bad that a lot of the ingredients we hope will keep us from eating fecal matter don’t have much effect.

The FDA has just banned 19 ingredients used in “anti-bacterial” hand soap. The ban includes triclosan and triclocarban, which have been studied for their negative effect on the endocrine system, hormones, and potentially even for causing breast cancer. The Hill has a statement from Janet Woodcock, the director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research:

“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... In fact, some data suggests that antibacterial ingredients may do more harm than good over the long-term.”


So what’s a filthy garbage-pawer like myself to do? Good ole plain soap and water will do just fine, though the FDA has not banned the use of hand sanitizers with the same ingredients. Better put start buying it in bulk.

Contributing Writer, writing my first book for the Dial Press called The Lonely Hunter, follow me on Twitter @alutkin

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Betty Slocombe

Does this mean I won’t have to spend 10 minutes in the soap aisle trying to find one of the two handsoaps that aren’t anti-bacterial now?! This is brilliant news! Down with the bacteria hysteria and up with good old fashioned soap and just actually washing your hands.