The American Cleaning Institute (ACI) released the following statement in response to a final rule issued by the Food and Drug Administration concerning consumer antibacterial soaps and washes:
“Consumer antibacterial soaps and washes continue to be safe and effective products for millions of people every single day.
“Antibacterial soaps are critical to public health because of the importance hand hygiene plays in the prevention of infection.
“Washing the hands with an antiseptic soap can help reduce the risk of infection beyond that provided by washing with non-antibacterial soap and water.
“The FDA already has in its hands data that shows the safety and effectiveness of antibacterial soaps. Manufacturers are continuing their work to provide even more science and research to fill data gaps identified by FDA.
“In the coming year, ACI and its member companies will submit additional safety and effectiveness data on the key ingredients in use in consumer antibacterial soaps today: benzalkonium chloride, benzethonium chloride and chloroxylenol.
“It is important to note that this FDA rule does not affect consumer hand sanitizers, antiseptic products used in healthcare settings, and antiseptics used in food handler settings.
“Consumers can continue to use antibacterial soaps with confidence as they have for decades in millions of homes, offices, schools, daycare centers and other commercial settings.”