OMAHA(KPTM)-The FDA is asking the companies that make antibacterial soaps and washes to prove the products are safe, and that they're more effective than plain soap and water.
The agency says it's revisiting the safety of chemicals used in the products, due to the results of recent studies and new information about the chemicals used.
Under its proposed rule released today, the agency is requiring manufacturers to prove claims of safety and effectiveness or they'll have to reformulate or possibly even remove them from store shelves.
The FDA's investigation includes a review of triclosan - a germ-killing ingredient that's been on the market for four decades, but has come under fire after recent research on animals.
From the FDA's website:
"Animal studies have shown that triclosan alters hormone regulation. However, data showing effects in animals don;t always predict effects in humans. Other studies in bacteria have raised the possibility that triclosan contributes to making bacteria resistant to antibiotics."
While the FDA says there is no clear evidence that triclosan is unsafe to humans, the organization does say more research is needed.
The rule is only preliminary at this time and the FDA will be receiving input on the proposal before it's finalized.
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