U.S. officials examining effectiveness of antibacterial soap

Monday, December 16, 2013, 3:00 PM -

Makers of antibacterial soaps and body washes may soon be required to prove their products are not only safe for daily long term use -- but also more effective than plain soap and water when it comes to preventing illness and the spread of infection.

That's according to a new rule proposed Monday by U.S. legislative body the Food and Drug Administration.

If manufacturers can't prove safety and effectiveness, they'd have to reformulate the products or change their label for them to stay on store shelves.

Antibacterial hand soaps and body washes are used widely and frequently by consumers, and some data show there may be long-term health risks from exposure -- including bacterial resistance or hormonal effects.

Hand sanitizes, wipes and antibacterial products used in health care settings are not affected by the proposed rule.

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