Manufacturers have one year to comply with an FDA ban on most antibacterial soaps and body washes. Reported on by WebMD, the ban applies to soaps and body washes containing triclosan and triclocarban (the two most common antibacterial ingredients), along with 17 other active ingredients—which represents about 40 percent of all soaps on the market. However, the ban doesn’t cover hand sanitizers or wipes, or antiseptics used in healthcare settings.
The ban is being enacted due to increasing infections from antibiotic-resistant bacteria and other health concerns related to the long-term use of these ingredients. For example, some studies have found that triclosan can affect mammal’s thyroid, estrogen, and testosterone systems. Manufacturers have also failed to show that these products prevent the spread of germs any better than soap that doesn’t contain these chemicals. Regarding other antibacterial soaps, Dr. Theresa Michele, director of the Division of Nonprescription Drug Products at the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said that “Antibacterial soaps containing benzalkonium chloride, benzethonium chloride, and chloroxylenol will remain on the market while manufacturers develop additional safety and effectiveness data for these ingredients.”