You lather up with antibacterial soap, thinking you’re doing something good by killing nasty germs and protecting your health. But the opposite may be true.”New data suggest that the risks associated with long-term, daily use of antibacterial soaps may outweigh the benefits,” says Colleen Rogers, Ph.D., a lead microbiologist at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).Antibacterial soap and other similar products contain chemical ingredients, including triclosan, which not only don’t have any proven benefits, but may also carry unnecessary health risks.Animal studies have shown that triclosan, which is in several products including toothpaste, body washes and some cosmetics, alters hormone regulation, according to the FDA. Other studies have raised the possibility that triclosan contributes to making bacteria resistant to antibiotics. And over the past several years, the Environmental Protection Agency has studied new data on the effects of triclosan on thyroid hormones, as well as its estrogen-related effects.The state of Minnesota believes the evidence is sufficient to require action. Its governor, Mark Dayton, has signed a bill that flat-out bans triclosan use, making Minnesota the first state in the nation to do so.The bill states: “In order to prevent the spread of infectious disease and avoidable infections and to promote best practices in sanitation, no person shall offer for retail sale in Minnesota any cleaning product that contains triclosan and is used by consumers for sanitizing or hand and body cleansing.”The ban will take effect statewide January 1, 2017.Bottom line: Check the labels on your over-the-counter drugs or cosmetics. If they contain triclosan, it will be listed in the ingredients on the product’s label. Skip antibacterial soap, body washes and hand sanitizers with triclosan altogether, and if you need to clean on the go, look for an alcohol-based sanitizer, like Purell or . Rest assured: The FDA says there’s no evidence that triclosan kills more germs than a good old-fashioned scrub with soap and water.