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Will Singapore ban chemicals in soap?

The United States Food and Drug Administration has finally banned several key chemicals in antibacterial hand soap, including triclosan and triclocarban ("Ban on key chemicals in antibacterial soap"; last Sunday).

Will Singapore be doing the same?

There have been numerous reports in the past on the dangers of chemicals like triclosan in antibacterial products. These added ingredients are not more effective than ordinary soap and may even contribute to bacterial resistance.

In the past, I sought to buy only hand soap or floor cleaners without antibacterial ingredients.

But to my dismay, about two to three years back, supermarkets like FairPrice and Cold Storage stopped stocking them. The only product which FairPrice still sells without antibacterial ingredients is liquid soap.

Although manufacturers may claim that the quantum in each bottle is small, we should not forget that the public is exposed to many unhealthy ingredients in food, cosmetics, soaps and cleaning agents. So, the less we are exposed to them, the better.

Amy Ang (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 11, 2016, with the headline 'Will S'pore ban chemicals in soap?'. Print Edition | Subscribe