Associations Respond to New Antibacterial Study


WASHINGTON - The following is a joint statement from the Soap and Detergent Association and The Cosmetic, Toiletry, and Fragrance Association:

"Antibacterial cleaning and personal care products do what they say they do: they kill harmful bacteria. Research on antibacterial products featured in the March 2004 Annals of Internal Medicine focused on diseases caused by viruses, not bacteria.

The research findings in this particular study are not surprising, as none

of the antibacterial products tested were designed, formulated or claimed to

be effective against viruses.

Depending on their active ingredient(s) and specific formulation,

antibacterial personal cleansing products can be effective against bacteria

that can cause odor, skin infections, food poisoning, intestinal illnesses and

other commonly transmitted diseases. These products are regulated by the Food

and Drug Administration.

Household disinfectants and antibacterial household cleaning products --

depending on their active ingredients, specific formulation, and use

instructions -- are designed to kill a wide variety of microorganisms that can

live on inanimate surfaces, such as bacteria like Salmonella and E. coli,

which cause intestinal illness, and Staphylococcus, which causes skin


In some cases, disinfectant products and certain antibacterial products

may be formulated to have efficacy against fungi and viruses. Some examples

include the fungus that causes athlete's foot; viruses such as Herpes simplex;

Rhinovirus, which is the leading cause of the common cold, and Rotavirus, the

major cause of diarrhea in young children. To determine the product that is

right for the job, read the label.

In these situations, the organisms and required use conditions are clearly

noted on the label. Disinfectants and antibacterial household cleaning

products must be registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and

carry an EPA registration number on their label.

The Soap and Detergent Association and The Cosmetic, Toiletry, and

Fragrance Association and their members have a long-standing commitment to

promote the appropriate use of antibacterial personal care and household

cleaning products.

Through consumer and educator outreach, we will continue to provide this

information to ensure these products remain a critical factor in disease

prevention and health promotion.

For examples of research showcasing the health benefits of antibacterial

personal hygiene and cleaning products and disinfectant products,

contact Brian Sansoni at SDA, (202) 662.2517 or via email at"

CTFA is the national trade association representing the cosmetic, toiletry

and fragrance industry. Founded in 1894, CTFA has an active membership of

approximately 300 companies that manufacture or distribute the vast majority

of finished personal care products marketed in the United States. CTFA also

includes approximately 300 associate member companies, including manufacturers

of raw materials, trade and consumer magazines, and other related industries.

The Soap and Detergent Association is the non-profit trade association

representing manufacturers of household, industrial and institutional cleaning

products; their ingredients; and finished packaging; and oleochemical

producers. SDA members produce more than 90 percent of the cleaning products marketed

in the U.S.

Source: Soap and Detergent Association

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