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January 24, 1972

Medical News

JAMA. 1972;219(4):449-458. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03190300005003

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Feminine hygiene sprays remain controversial despite FDA action  The proposed ban on the use of hexachlorophene in cosmetics—except, in some cases, as a preservative—is likely to have a considerable impact on an industry which has used the antiseptic ever since the late 1940s as an ingredient of almost everything from makeup to feminine hygiene spray deodorants.The Food and Drug Administration explained its proposed restrictions, published in the January 7 Federal Register, as an attempt to "reduce total human exposure" to hexachlorophene which in high amounts has caused brain damage to experimental animals. The manufacturers and other interested parties have 60 days to comment.Reactions from the cosmetics industry, understandably enough, varied. The manufacturers' alternatives are simple enough: removal of various products from the market, or reformulation.In fact, many companies, anticipating some type of action involving hexachlorophene, have been testing other antibacterial compounds and have alternative products waiting