11 Stories

FDA: So Long, Antibacterial Soaps

Agency says antibacterial ingredients haven't been proven to be effective, safe

(Newser) - Companies that sell over-the-counter antibacterial soaps will have a year to clean up their acts—namely, to remove those products from shelves and stop marketing them, or take certain ingredients out of their products that the FDA now says are essentially ineffective, NBC News reports. Products containing 19 active ingredients—... More »

We Should Only Be Showering Once a Week

'Terrible for the environment and our bank balances'

(Newser) - Donnachadh McCarthy writing for the Guardian says something in modern society stinks, and it's our habit of showering every day. He says he only bathed once a week when he was a kid and doesn't remember smelling, blaming "falsely imposed cultural norms" for our all-too-frequent showers. McCarthy... More »

Pair Spends Month in Jail for Having Bag of ... Soap

Lawyer calls it a case of racial profiling

(Newser) - Soap and cocaine are easy to confuse ... right? Apparently so: A young man and woman just spent a month in a Pennsylvania jail for carrying two kilos of soap that police mistook for cocaine, reports Reason via The Morning Call . A trooper pulled over Annadel Cruz, 26, and Alexander Bernstein,... More »

FDA: Germ-Killing Soap May Be Bad for You

And there's no proof it's better than ordinary soap

(Newser) - The antibacterial soap you've been using religiously? The FDA says there's no proof that it actually stops the spread of germs any better than ordinary soap and water do—and that the chemicals in it may even be bad for us. Some scientists have long warned that triclosan,... More »

Man Who Made Washing Our Hands Easier Dead at 77

Give your soap pump a push for Robert Taylor, who died Aug. 29

(Newser) - The man who took a huge gamble to bring you hand soap via pump has died at 77. Robert Taylor wanted to clean up the mess bar soap left in the soap dish, and so his company, Minnetonka, introduced Softsoap in a pump-topped plastic bottle in 1978. But in order... More »

Study Uncovers Gross Hand-Washing Stat

19 out of 20 of us are doing it wrong

(Newser) - Warning: After reading this, you may never want to shake hands again. Following a trip to the toilet, some 95% of people don't wash their hands properly—meaning long enough actually eliminate bacteria, a study finds. Some commit worse hygiene sins: a third don't use soap, and a... More »

Germ Killer We've Used for 40 Years Gets FDA Review

Researchers to complete review of triclosan ordered back in the '70s

(Newser) - It's been on the market for more than 40 years, and it's found in everything from antibacterial soap to toothpaste to toys. But there's a chance that the FDA is about to declare the chemical triclosan unsafe, in a review due to be completed this year. The... More »

Antibacterial Soap Ingredient Spells Trouble for Muscles

Triclosan inhibited muscle function of human heart cells in test tubes

(Newser) - If you're an antibacterial-soap junkie, it might be time to cut back. A three-part study suggests triclosan, a common chemical found in such products, slows muscle function in both human and animals. A paper published yesterday outlines the experiments: Scientists exposed human heart and skeletal muscle cells to levels... More »

Johnson & Johnson Booting Harsh Chemicals by 2015

And for baby products, even sooner

(Newser) - By 2015, almost every single Johnson & Johnson product will no longer contain dangerous chemicals, the company pledged yesterday. It had already promised to remove "chemicals of concern" from baby products by the end of next year, and is still on track to do so. Now it also plans... More »

FDA Probes 'Hormone Disrupter' in Soap, Toothpaste

Studies in animals point to risk

(Newser) - The Food and Drug Administration is taking a closer look at an antibacterial found in soap and toothpaste. Animal studies of the substance, triclosan, suggest it may alter hormone regulation or help develop resistance to antibiotics, Reuters notes. "There are many troubling questions about triclosan's effectiveness and potentially harmful... More »

Italian Church Pairs Perfume With Prayer

Opened in Dante's time, pharmacy today sells scents in LA, Tokyo

(Newser) - Florence's Santa Maria Novella church has an intriguing sideline: It's home to one of the world's oldest pharmacies, which today churns out tonics and perfumes made according to medieval recipes. Smithsonian profiles the church, where Dominican monks began concocting herbal remedies and rose water, used to clean plague-touched homes, more... More »

11 Stories