FDA bans 19 chemicals used in antibacterial soaps

WASHINGTON — The federal government is banning more than a dozen chemicals long-used in antibacterial soaps and washes, saying manufacturers have failed to show that they are safe and prevent the spread of germs.

The Food and Drug Administration’s Dr. Janet Woodcock says there’s no scientific evidence the products are any better than plain soap and water.

Friday’s decision primarily targets two once-popular ingredients — triclosan and triclocarban — that some research suggests can interfere with hormone levels and spur drug-resistant bacteria. A cleaning industry spokesman said most companies have already reformulated their products.

In late 2013, the FDA told manufacturers they must show their products are safe and effective. Regulators said Friday the data submitted did not meet federal standards to establish safety and effectiveness for the chemicals.

Here is a list of the newly banned chemicals:

  • Cloflucarban
  • Fluorosalan
  • Hexachlorophene
  • Hexylresorcinol
  • Iodine complex (ammonium ether sulfate and polyoxyethylene sorbitan monolaurate)
  • Iodine complex (phosphate ester of alkylaryloxy polyethylene glycol)
  • Nonylphenoxypoly (ethyleneoxy) ethanoliodine
  • Poloxamer-iodine complex
  • Povidone-iodine 5 to 10 percent
  • Undecoylium chloride iodine complex
  • Methylbenzethonium chloride
  • Phenol (greater than 1.5 percent)
  • Phenol (less than 1.5 percent) 16
  • Secondary amyltricresols
  • Sodium oxychlorosene
  • Tribromsalan
  • Triclocarban
  • Triclosan
  • Triple dye