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Tampa General Hospital stopped using anti-bacterial soap nearly one year before FDA ruling

Antibacterial soap ruled harmful and ineffective
Posted: 5:37 PM, Sep 06, 2016
Updated: 2016-09-06 17:37:52-04

It's like a security blanket for parents and grandparents, that's how Gabrielle Suhdra sees it every time she buys antibacterial soap.

"It makes me feel safer," said Suhdra.

So much so she is ignoring findings from the FDA.

"I will not stop using it," said Suhdra.

But the product Suhdra knows now--will not exist in the next year. That's how long the FDA is giving companies to rework formula's and get rid of 19 active ingredients. The FDA calls them them ineffective and even unsafe!  Two topping the list, Triclosan and Triclocarban.

"I think it is a major decision," said Peggy Thompson, Tampa General's Director of Infection Prevention.

Thompson feels so strongly about the research, that she made changes nearly a year ago.

"It was a big deal. It was quite an undertaking," said Thompson.

It was about a year ago the hospital decided to switch to touchless dispensers. It was at that time she also decided to get rid of anti bacterial soap. The company she worked with told her Thompson wasn't alone.

"They said their hospitals were split about 50/50 some were using an anti bacterial soap and some were not." said Thompson. "So, I felt confident that we weren't really going out on a limb by getting rid of anti bacterial soap. I also feel very confident that we have not made any change that would put patients at risk."

Experts such as Thompson said it's how you wash your hands that is important and not the ingredients. Plain soap and water is just as effective.

"My advice would be to stop using anti bacterial soaps," said Thompson.

And while some like Suhdra choose not to heed the advice--other moms, like Vanessa Sholes will.

She feels even more comforted that large hospitals are making the switch.

"I am glad that they are being proactive and taking a stance," said Sholes.

The good news. No need to give up your hand sanitizer. Most of those are alcohol based. The CDC even recommends using that over soap and water

For more on the ruling: http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm517478.htm