Antibacterial soap may be more dangerous than beneficial

Washing hands with warm water and soap preferred

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Some ingredients in antibacterial soap may be hazardous, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

Nineteen ingredients that can be found in the soaps are now banned. This affects hand and body soap.

"If it says antibacterial on the label, and triclosan is one of the biggest chemicals we are most concerned about, these chemicals have not been found to be any more effective than regular soap and water," said Dr. Vandana Bhide, a pediatrician at Mayo Clinic.

In fact, there is a concern that when used over a number of years, the chemicals in antibacterial soap can cause harm when absorbed through the skin, or through the mouth.

The FDA says that in animal studies, these chemicals have been shown to affect hormones in the thyroid, aid in development of antibiotic-resistant germs and may be harmful to the immune system.

"Since there is no proven benefit of these chemicals, there is no upside to using these chemicals," Bhide said. "The take home message is wash your hands, 20-30 seconds with warm soap and water and avoid anything that says antibacterial on the label."

The FDA has given manufacturers a year to take the products off the market. The recall does not include wipes and hand sanitizers, which are currently being investigated, as are antiseptics used in hospital settings.

More information on the findings, can be found online at the FDA's website.