Just last week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned the sale of soaps containing certain antibacterial chemicals. As an advocate for toxin free products, I was so excited to hear this news! First proposed in 2013, the FDA warned companies that unless they could prove these chemicals had more benefits than negative effects, their products would have to be pulled from shelves! In total the FDA has taken action against 19 different chemicals including Triclosan and Triclocarban, giving cosmetic companies one year to remove them from their products.
Why has the FDA banned these chemicals?
The FDA made the decision to ban these chemicals as there was insufficient evidence to say they were safe to use long term. They also couldn't prove that antibacterial hand soaps were better than regular soap and water. According to the New York Times, 40% of all soaps contain at least one of these 19 banned chemicals, with Triclosan and Triclocarban being the most common offenders. Studies conducted on animals have shown that Triclosan and Triclocarban both disrupted regular functioning of the metabolism and reproductive system. Scary stuff! These medical grade ingredients were initially used by surgeons, before adapted by the mainstream market. Now you can find them in everything from toothpaste and mouthwashes to detergents and hand soaps!
Why should you avoid Triclosan?
According to The Environmental Working Group (EWG), Triclosan and its related ingredient Triclocarban have been linked to liver and inhalation toxicity. These harmful and potentially hormone disrupting chemicals should always be avoided! The American Medical Association also recommends steering clear of Triclosan as studies have shown that it can actually encourage bacterial resistance to antibiotics!
Will more chemicals be banned in the future?
As of this week, the ban of these 19 ingredients only relates to soaps and hand washes. This means that you can still find chemicals including Triclosan in products such as toothpaste. However the FDA are currently reviewing a further three active ingredients which include isopropyl alcohol, benzalkonium chloride and alcohol (ethanol and ethyl alcohol). These are all commonly found in consumer hand sanitisers and wipes.
Which natural alternatives do I recommend?
When it comes to antibacterial hand washes and soaps, you don't need to be using harmful chemicals and stripping additives! We have a huge range of natural hand & body washes that clean away all types germs. We also have a great range of sanitising hand gels! My picks are the Resparkle Hand & Surface Sanitiser $7.50 and the Squeakie Natural Hand Sanitiser $11.95, both made using natural ingredients ideal for sensitive skin. If you prefer an anti-bacterial spray however, I recommend either the Dr Bronner's Hand Sanitising Spray $7.95, or the Bondi Wash Antibacterial Hand Sanitising Spray $15.00.