ACI Statement on FDA Consumer Rule on Antibacterial Soaps


Washington, D.C. – September 2, 2016 – 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.”



 Contact: Brian Sansoni, American Cleaning Institute, 202.662.2517 or bsansoni@cleaninginstitute.org

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 oleochemical producers.  ACI (www.cleaninginstitute.org) and its members are dedicated to improving health and the quality of life through sustainable cleaning products and practices.


Reining in the Overreaching FDA
December 8, 2016 | Investor’s Business Daily

Merrill Matthews writes that the FDA, like any bureaucracy, can overreach, citing the FDA’s recent decision to effectively ban antibacterial hand soaps, which he argues potentially compromises consumer health and safety in defiance of its own stated mission of protecting public health.

US ACI questions FDA proposal on antibacterial healthcare biocides
November 4, 2015 | Chemical Watch

Chemical Watch’s Biocides Hub details the American Cleaning Institute’s comments to FDA, which state there is no evidence of adverse health effects in humans because of the use of healthcare antiseptic products, which have “very favourable benefit/risk ratios demonstrated over many years of extensive use”.

Germ warfare at the FDA
June 21, 2015 | The Washington Times
S. Robert Lichter writes that media coverage of environmental health issues far more closely resembles the attitudes of environmental activists than those of scientific researchers, citing manmade chemicals and antibacterial hand soaps as examples.




Is Your Soap Safe?

December 7, 2012 | Fox Business, Stossel Show
Author Paul Alexander discusses whether government product studies are a waste of taxpayer money.

Battling bacteria in your kitchen? Food safety expert says use antibacterial soap

February 9, 2012 | ABC 13 News, WZZM-TV
Preparing foods like chicken at home? "You want to use antibacterial soap at the sink," says food safety expert Laura Bell, with Metro Health in Grand Rapids, MI.