You know them, the over 2,000 anti-bacterial products from wipes to sprays to soaps and more. Well, more news out of the Food and Drug Administration — the latest: is it is formally charging the ingredients in “antibacterial” soaps and other personal-care products are no better than regular soap and water, while carrying extra risks.

The FDA is calling for manufacturers of consumer antibacterial products to show the ingredients are both safe for daily use, and also more effective than plain soap and water. Deep in the 137-page rule, it also raises the issue as to whether the routine use of these products causes bacteria to develop resistance against the active ingredients, and against antibiotics as an unintended side effect.

The FDA first judged antibacterial soaps and washes safe and effective in 1994, but research conducted since then has led to a reconsideration. That re-examination was driven, in part, by alleged effects of the main antibacterial ingredient, triclosan (and its solid-product form triclocarban). In the 137-page rule, it also raises the issue that is most interesting to me: that triclosan is an “endocrine disruptor, ”and that it interferes with production and activity of hormones in the body.

These are absorbed through the skin and have been found in both human breast milk and urine samples collected since 2003.

The study also shows systemic exposure can cause alterations in thyroid, reproductive, growth, and developmental systems of neonatal and adolescent animals. Hormonally active compounds have been shown to affect not only the exposed organism, but also subsequent generations.

For the sake of limited space in our newsletter, this is only a brief overview of the information in the FDA report. Sometimes not adopting the newest and latest innovation works out in our favor. I guess that means I can keep using the regular soap and water I have been using for years as a safe and effective way to fight bacteria. You can find pure, organic soap without parabens and other chemicals at your local health food stores and online.