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FDA proposes tighter rules on antibacterial soaps

Dec 16 (Reuters) - U.S. regulators on Monday issued a proposed rule that would require makers of antibacterial hand soaps to demonstrate their products are safe and more effective than soap and water in preventing infection and the spread of bacteria.

"Although consumers generally view these products as effective tools to help prevent the spread of germs, there is currently no evidence that they are any more effective at preventing illness than washing with plain soap and water," the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said in a statement.

The FDA said the action is part of a larger ongoing review by the agency to ensure that antibacterial ingredients are safe and effective. But the proposed rule would not affect hand sanitizers, wipes or antimicrobial products used in health care settings, the agency said.