From the FMS Global News Desk of Jeanne Hambleton

Posted on June 16, 2014 by Stone Hearth News    SOURCE American Cleaning Institute

WASHINGTON, June 16, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Proposed rules by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) could remove antibacterial soaps and body washes from store shelves – and might lead to 7.5 million new cases of foodborne illness and more than $38 billion in health care costs annually.

In an effort to maintain consumer access to the benefits of antibacterial soaps, the American Cleaning Institute (ACI) and the Personal Care Products Council, along with input from leading independent scientists, filed extensive comments with FDA on its proposed rule. The comments demonstrate to the Agency that consumer antibacterial soaps are safe, effective, and promote public health.

The FDA’s proposal could eliminate the public’s access to safe and effective antibacterial soaps, including kitchens in the home and at daycare facilities.

Antibacterial soaps “are critical to public health because of the importance hand hygiene plays in the prevention of infection,” wrote the groups in their joint June 16 comments to FDA. “Washing the hands with an antiseptic handwash can help reduce the risk of infection beyond that provided by washing with non-antibacterial soap and water.”

FDA appears to have not considered that the consumer category includes use of antibacterial soaps in public areas such as schools, airports, day cares, and other facilities. Consumer antiseptic products reduce the level of bacteria on skin, which reduces the risk of infection and disease.

Elimination of these products would put the general population at risk. For example, individuals using public restrooms would no longer have access to antiseptic hand soaps.

The Topical Antimicrobial Coalition, which comprises ACI and the Council, estimated the costs of the proposed rule – associated with preventable gastrointestinal illnesses – that would occur if antiseptic hand wash products were not available.

The number of new cases of foodborne illness caused by bacteria such as E. coli, Salmonella, Shigella, and Campylobacter could range between 250,000 and 7.5 million, based on projections by Dr. Donald Schaffner, Professor at Rutgers University’s Food Science Department.

The groups’ comments also take issue with assertions in the proposed rule that challenge the safety of antibacterial ingredients.

“No scientific studies currently exist to demonstrate a correlation between the active ingredients considered in the proposed rule and adverse health effects on consumers. As a result, there are no measureable benefits of the proposed rule.”

In their comments to FDA, the American Cleaning Institute and the Personal Care Products Council also asked the agency to:

  • Support safety evaluation approaches that avoid or minimize animal testing.
  • Reconsider its unnecessary and unreasonable proposed testing requirements (including animal testing) for safety and effectiveness, which are unlike any other rulemakings for over-the-counter drugs such as antibacterial soaps.
  • Review available and extensive data that shows there is no correlation between antibacterial soap use and antibiotic resistance.
  • Recognize antiseptic handwashes that are used in the food industry as a distinct category that should be subject to its own monograph.

The detailed comments can be found online at

The American Cleaning Institute® (ACI) is the Home of the U.S. Cleaning Products Industry® and represents the $30 billion U.S. cleaning products market.  ACI members include the formulators of soaps, detergents, and general cleaning products used in household, commercial, industrial and institutional settings; companies that supply ingredients and finished packaging for these products; and chemical producers.

ACI ( and its members are dedicated to improving health and the quality of life through sustainable cleaning products and practices.

Based in Washington, D.C., the Personal Care Products Council is the leading national trade association representing the global cosmetic and personal care products industry. Founded in 1894, the Council’s more than 600 member companies manufacture, distribute, and supply the vast majority of finished personal care products marketed in the U.S. As the makers of a diverse range of products millions of consumers rely on every day, from sunscreens, toothpaste and shampoo to moisturizer, lipstick and fragrance, personal care products companies are global leaders committed to product safety, quality and innovation.


Joint Statement: The Soap and Detergent Association and The Cosmetic, Toiletry, & Fragrance Association


WASHINGTON, D.C., – Two trade associations representing personal care and cleaning product makers hailed the findings of new research demonstrating the powerful effect of washing with soap and water in decreasing illness and improving public health.

A study published in JAMA, the journal of the American Medical Association, found a 50 percent reduction in the incidences of diarrhea among schoolchildren in Pakistan. The Soap and Detergent Association (SDA, and The Cosmetic, Toiletry, and Fragrance Association (CTFA,, both based in Washington, D.C., said the study’s findings reaffirmed what generations have known all along: good hygiene equals public health.

The associations, however, cautioned against reading too much into one aspect of the study’s data, comparing the effectiveness of antibacterial and non-antibacterial soaps.

“This is not a basis for drawing conclusions on the relative effectiveness of these products, and further research will be necessary to evaluate the issue,” according to SDA and CTFA.

“What we do know, based on years of safe and effective use, is that antibacterial personal care products (such as bar soaps) provide an extra measure of protection for consumers at home and doctors and nurses in hospitals seeking to prevent the spread of germs.

These products, depending upon their formulation and application, can kill or inhibit the growth of bacteria that cause odor, skin infections, food poisoning, intestinal illnesses or other commonly transmitted diseases.

“The simplest defence against disease is prevention and the first defense is always good hygiene. Antimicrobial products have been shown to be an essential part of a good hygiene routine.”


My comment

I read somewhere that a huge percentage of folk forget to wash their hands before  they begin preparing food for dinner.  This should not be overlooked.

My Doctor claims “good old soap and water” is the best cleaner.

Always wash your hands when leaving your bathroom and be sure to keep your toothbrush in  closed  cupboard  well away from the toilet. Frequently replace your  towels and face flannels with clean ones.  This may be obvious but sometimes it is just forgotten.




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