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Limiting antibacterials could put health care workers at risk, trade group claims


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Washington – Placing limits on antibacterial ingredients in certain hygiene products could endanger health care workers as well as patients, according to a trade association representing cleaning product producers and suppliers.

In a Sept. 3 presentation, the American Cleaning Institute told the Food and Drug Administration’s Nonprescription Drugs Advisory Committee that research shows active ingredients in antibacterial hygiene products are safe and prevent bacterial transmission. ACI also claims the products help lower health care costs by reducing infections.

Presenters asked the committee to urge FDA to assess research to determine the safety and effectiveness of antibacterial ingredients.

The agency has questioned the safety in previous announcements, and is expected to propose new rules for health care hygiene products in 2015.

As part of its ongoing review of antibacterial ingredients, FDA issued a proposed rule on Dec. 16 that would require manufacturers to provide more substantial data about the safety and effectiveness of their antibacterial soaps and body washes. The rule does not apply to health care products.