Wash ’em, or sanitize them? Either one will work on your hands, right? Not so fast – according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The FDA is asking makers of antibacterial hand sanitizers and related products to provide data showing they’re effective in reducing bacteria on skin.
Federal health officials want to know whether hand sanitizers used by millions of Americans work as well as manufacturers claim — and whether there are any health risks to their growing use.
The Food and Drug Administration is asking for new studies on how the antiseptic gels and rubs fight germs and get absorbed into the body, with a particular focus on children and pregnant women. The proposal unveiled Wednesday is part of an ongoing government effort to review decades-old chemicals that have never had a comprehensive federal review.
According to a story in the Wall Street Journal, the FDA said “it didn’t have any special concerns over ingredients, but that it wanted to be sure it was apprised of the latest science, given the fact that such antibacterial products are in such wide use now.”
“These products provide a convenient alternative when hand washing with plain soap and water is unavailable, but it’s our responsibility to determine whether these products are safe and effective so that consumers can be confident when using them on themselves and their families multiple times a day.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says washing your hands with soap and water remains one of the best ways to avoid getting sick and to prevent spreading germs to others.
Share your thoughts on the FDA’s request for more data to show it’s safe to use hand sanitizers every day and that it’s effective in reducing bacteria on the skin. Do you think this is a health issue that should be addressed or an example of too much government regulation? Whichever side you’re on, we believe it’s important to generate these types of conversations in order to better understand what our partners are thinking. And that understanding will help us one day reach our goal of making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!