Here at TTF HQ, we’re constantly looking to better ourselves through smart choices and information. Today we’re investigating the recent FDA ban on antibacterial soaps. In the past we would have either (1) written off the ban and just kept buying whatever products that were convenient or (2) blindly followed the ban and just stop using whatever product the media told us to stop using. But the key to nourishing the inner perspective is that knowledge is power. In order to make an educated decision for ourselves, our research team set out to find out the following:
- What active ingredients were specifically banned and why?
- What products are currently using these ingredients?
- What products are safe to use and where can we buy them?
On September 2, 2016 the FDA banned the usage of over-the-counter soaps and body washes that contained 19 antiseptic ingredients, the most common active ingredients are triclosan and triclocarbon. According to their official press release, the FDA noted that manufacturers “did not demonstrate that the ingredients are both safe for long-term daily use and more effective than plain soap and water in preventing illness and the spread of certain infections.”
“In fact, some data suggest that antibacterial ingredients may do more harm than good over the long-term,” said Janet Woodcock, M.D. Director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER).
What is Triclosan?
Triclosan is an antibacterial agent that is supposed to be more effective and efficient in cleaning and prevention of germs. But those claims made by manufacturers have been questioned by major research groups for more than a decade.
Triclosan can stay in the environment for really long periods of time and can pose health risks such as hormonal development and bacterial resistant. (UGH) The manufacturers in this study by the FDA, were required to provide concrete evidence that there was any benefit to using antibacterial products versus non-antibacterial when it came to spread of germs or preventing illness. The FDA concluded that the manufacturers in most cases provided no evidence and in the rare cases that any evidence was produced, it was deemed “not sufficient.”
The disposal of triclosan is also extremely difficult and horrible for the environment. It clogs up our sewers, and takes a very long time to naturally degrade. Triclosan needs to be sent to sewage treatment plans in order to get disposed. The process to get rid of this stuff is harmful to our ozone and aquatic ecosystems. BLEH
What contains Triclosan?
The best way to make sure that you’re avoiding this FLOP ingredient at all costs is to check the active ingredients of the products that you’re currently using. If you see Triclosan or Tricarbon (a very similar chemical) listed, DON’T BUY IT.
But let’s keep in mind that the ban is only on soaps and body washes that contain triclosan. So toothpastes, wipes, deodorants, sprays, and cosmetics could still contain this ingredient post-ban.
What doesn’t contain Triclosan?
The Honest Company products (TTF Favorites) has an Honesty Free Guarantee that lists triclosan at the top of their lists. They have an extensive array of products from shampoos to window cleaners for you to choose from.
Antibacterials that contain at least 60% alcohol. When you’re getting a shot or donating blood, it’s the alcohol that kills any residual bacteria on your skin. This is an oldie but a goodie.
Tom’s of Maine and Crest toothpaste. While Colgate still stands by their claim that their formula containing triclosan is safe to use despite the FDA ban, there are plenty of other options out there if you want to avoid putting this ingredient in your mouth. Tom’s and Crest are two of our current favorites.
Kiss My Face products (TTF Favorites) have listed triclosan on their “No. We Don’t Use” page prominently and guarantees that it has been permanently banned from all their products. This company make our favorite sunscreens and lotions.
But keep in mind that the science on this in non conclusive. Everything is on going. Team TTF just wants to make sure that you’re in the know and up-to-date on what products are out there and what options you have. Only you know what’s best for you and your families, but trust that we’ll be keeping a close eye on this story as it unfolds.