If you’ve relied on antibacterial soaps and hand-washes to keep germs at bay for as long as you can remember, this may come as a shock: the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that they are ineffective and potentially dangerous and is banning them.
The FDA says that manufacturers have failed to prove that antibacterial products are safe or effective, adding that they work no better than old-fashioned soap and water.
Over the years, there have been reports stating that triclosan and other antibacterial ingredients have been linked to bacterial resistance and that they can interfere with our hormones. Until now, these reports have always seemed to just go away and the products remained immensely popular.
What does this mean for Canada? Nothing—yet. However, the announcement may cause Health Canada to reconsider its own position on the subject—it currently states that using these products is safe and does not lead to antibacterial resistance.
By Lola Augustine Brown