FORT MYERS, Fla. - You might use it in your home to protect you and your loved ones against germs, but a WINK News investigation uncovers you may not get what you pay for from one expensive brand of antibacterial soap.
If you're fanatical about keeping clean, you probably have all kinds of antibacterial products in your home and you probably also read the labels to make sure what you buy actually kills germs. But a lawsuit filed in federal court could make you question whether it is worth buying those products at all. A local Bonita Springs law firm is going after one antibacterial product because it says people aren't getting what they pay for!
"It's no different. It's no different whatsoever than ordinary hand soap," Jordan Chaikin, with the law firm Parker Waichman, told us about Dial Complete. His firm is waging a class action lawsuit against the soap makers for the claims they make right on the label of the product.
"Basically they promise certain health benefits that they cannot deliver," said Chaikin. "For instance, they say it is 1,000-times more effective at killing bacteria and germs than regular ordinary hand soap. That it is 50-percent efficient at preventing disease and reducing germs. That it kills 99.99-percent of bacteria and germs when it in fact does not do that and there is no scientific or reliable data that will demonstrate when used in the real world that Dial Complete performs as they represent."
Dial Complete contains the active ingredient Triclosan, which used to be used by doctors before scrubbing in for surgeries in the 1970's. The lawsuit claims the EPA registers Triclosan as a pesticide and scores it high as a human and environmental health risk.
The suit also claims in 2010, the FDA started advising consumers it had no evidence that products with Triclosan were any better than washing with soap and water.
Chaikin says consumers pay more for this product because they think it will kill more germs.
"They have made a tremendous amount of money selling this product and consumers, relying on the messages they put out that they relay through their advertisement and marketing campaigns, and you pay a premium certainly for Dial Complete than ordinary hand soaps and consumers are getting ripped off," Chaikin explained.
The lawsuit aims to get customers a refund of the price difference between Dial Complete and regular soap. We contacted the makers of Dial Complete for their reaction. They told us they do not comment on pending litigation.