FDA: Pregnant women should avoid chemicals in anti-bacterial products

VIDEO: Pregnant women should avoid chemicals in anti-bacterial products, FDA says

NEW YORK (CBS) - A new warning today for pregnant women who use anti-bacterial sanitizers and products: Don't.

The Food and Drug Administration says chemicals in them may be dangerous.

They're two common chemicals used in antibacterial soaps and household cleaners to kill germs. A new study is adding to growing concerns over Triclosan and Triclocarban.

"these chemicals have had adverse impacts on growth and development in animal studies and there is suggestion they may have similar impacts in humans," Dr. Laura Geer, with the SUNY Downstate School of Public Health, said.

Researchers at SUNY Downstate detected the chemicals in expectant moms and in umbilical cord blood samples.

"It indicates not only is the mother exposed to these chemicals during pregnancy but they are getting absorbed and into the developing fetus," Geer said.

Researchers also believe these chemicals can lead to resistance to antibiotics.

Antibacterial products are very popular these days, found in more than 2,000 everyday items including dishwashing liquid.

That makes it hard for pregnant women to avoid them, but Geer says that's what they should do.

"You don't need to use antibacterial soap. Just wash your hands with regular soap. It's the time that you wash your hands that is most important," Geer said.

Expectant mom Alison Campbell doesn't use anti bacterial soap.

"If it's unnecessary, I don't want to do more than what's necessary," Campbell said.

The FDA is reviewing the use of these chemicals and some companies have announced they are taking them out of some products.

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