Does antibacterial soap cause more harm than good? FDA to decide after four decades

WASHINGTON The Food and Drug Administration is finally going to decide whether antibacterial soap actually works, or if it's causing more harm than good.

Government researchers plan to deliver a review this year on the effectiveness and safety of triclosan, the germ-killing ingredient found in an estimated 75 percent of antibacterial liquid soaps and body washes sold in the United States. The chemical has been in U.S. households for more than 40 years, used for cleaning kitchens, people's bodies and clothing.

The chemical is also found in mouthwash, toothpaste and toys, and depending on what the FDA finds, a $1 billion industry could be affected.

The agency's review come