Consumer Voice - - Fda Bans Triclosan -

In early Septem­ber this year, the US Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion (FDA) banned sev­eral key chem­i­cals in an­tibac­te­rial hand soap, warn­ing of health risks and say­ing they were not more ef­fec­tive than an or­di­nary soap. The for­bid­den 19 in­gre­di­ents in­clude the two most com­mon, tri­closan (TCN) and tri­clo­car­ban (TCC), which are widely in­cluded in liq­uid and bar an­tibac­te­rial soaps de­spite fears that they dam­age the im­mune sys­tem.

“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,” said Janet Wood­cock, di­rec­tor of FDA’s drugs di­vi­sion.

At present, while about a dozen hand-wash brands are still boast­ing of their clean­ing abil­i­ties in In­dia, some com­pa­nies in the United States have al­ready started re­mov­ing such in­gre­di­ents from their prod­ucts to com­ply with the FDA reg­u­la­tions. Com­pa­nies in the USA will no longer be able to mar­ket an­tibac­te­rial washes with these in­gre­di­ents be­cause 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.

As per Bureau of In­dian Stan­dards (BIS), an­tibac­te­rial soaps are per­mit­ted to con­tain TCN or TCC up to one per cent (max­i­mum) of the to­tal vol­ume. This stan­dard may change in the near fu­ture as Team CV has writ­ten to BIS with a re­quest to re­vise/amend the re­lated In­dian Stan­dard on soaps. The test find­ings as well as the FDA rul­ing have also been shared with them. Ad­di­tion­ally, the team

Con­sumer Voice’s to Au­gust 2016 is­sue of the mag­a­zine) sig­nif­i­cance and a fresh per­spec­tive.

The team con­ducted an­tibac­te­rial ac­tiv­ity, ‘zone of in­hi­bi­tion’ and bac­te­rial kill ef­fi­cacy tests in the lab to judge the ef­fec­tive­ness of 10 pop­u­lar liq­uid hand­wash brands in re­moval/killing of mi­crobes/germs.

The test find­ings clearly re­veal that all the brands/vari­ants, ir­re­spec­tive of con­tain­ing tri­closan (TCN) or tri­clo­car­ban (TCC), are quite ef­fec­tive in keep­ing off the germs if the hands are firmly rubbed with liq­uids/soap cakes and washed. In­ter­est­ingly, the test find­ings show that the hand-wash soaps/liq­uids are equally ef­fec­tive even if TCC/TCN is not added. There­fore, ad­di­tion of these highly toxic chem­i­cals is not needed.

Hence, we at Con­sumer Voice pro­pose ‘no use’/ ban of tri­closan and tri­clo­car­ban, or sim­i­lar toxic chem­i­cals, in reg­u­larly used hand-wash liq­uid/soaps.

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