FDA Says, “Stop Using Antibacterial Soaps and Cleansers!”

My blog headline mimics the headlines I’ve witnessed in print for the last couple of weeks. The FDA has finally ruled on the use, overuse and abusive use of antibacterial soaps.

I’ve blogged in the past (here and here) about the dangers of overuse ofMH900407492 antibacterial agents in soaps, as well as the use of antibiotics in raising farm animals. The primary danger is the potential to evolve bacteria into antibacterial resistant killers, thus creating a SUPER BUG that cannot be destroyed.

I’ve referred to this as a possible “post-antibiotic era” that includes an antibiotic discovery void—that void being the pharmaceutical industry’s failure to develop new antibiotics that are effective against these killer super bugs.

There was an interesting article published in 2014 in the Smithsonian Magazine that warned of the dangers of antibacterial agent overuse. A more recent article reported on the current FDA position regarding antibacterial soaps. It basically repeated the warnings expressed in that 2014 article. I’d like to share those warnings that the FDA published a couple of years ago and which lead to the current FDA policy published this summer.

The FDA has ruled the following:

  • Antibacterial soaps are no more effective than washing with soap and water.
  • Antibacterial soaps have the potential to create antibiotic-resistant bacteria (killer super bugs).
  • Antibacterial soaps may actually disrupt our body’s endocrine system since the ingredients in these products are chemically similar to hormones such as thyroid hormone.
  • There is the potential that prolonged exposure to antibacterial soaps might create a greater chance of allergy development, including peanut allergies and hay fever.
  • Antibacterial soaps are bad for the environment since they can remain in waste water even after treatment at sewage plants and thereby contaminate our rivers, lakes and streams.

MH900443507I cannot imagine a future where a simple sore throat, a sinus infection or a cut on the arm becomes a death sentence. Without effective antibiotics, however, that fantasy future could become a reality.

The FDA is taking steps to prevent such a post-antibiotic era from happening—a time in which antibiotics are no more effective than washing with plain water.

Thoughts? Comments? I’d love to hear them!

About James J. Murray, Fiction Writer

With experience in both pharmaceutical manufacturing and clinical patient management, medications and their impact on one’s quality of life have been my expertise. My secret passion of murder and mayhem, however, is a whole other matter. I’ve always loved reading murder mysteries and thrillers, and longed to weave such tales of my own. Drawing on my clinical expertise as a pharmacist and my infatuation with the lethal effects of drugs, my tales of murder, mayhem and medicine will have you looking over your shoulder and suspicious of anything in your medicine cabinet.
This entry was posted in About James J. Murray, About Medications/Pharmacy, Antibiotic Discovery Void, Antibiotic Overuse, Antibiotic Resistance, Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria, Antibiotics in Agriculture, Blog Writers, Blogging, Developing Storyline Ideas, Drug Resistant Bacteria, FDA Concerns About Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria, FDA Warning on Antibacterial Soaps, Ideas for Creating Permanent Change, James J. Murray Blog, Lethal Bacteria, Lethal Biologicals, MRSA, Multi-Drug Resistant Bacteria, Murder Mayhem and Medicine, Murder With Party Drugs, New Blog, Pharmacy/Pharmaceuticals, Prescription For Murder Blog, Superbug Epidemic, Superbugs, The Pharmacy Profession, The Post Antibiotic Era and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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