HealthDay News — Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton has signed a bill banning triclosan, an antibacterial used in consumer hygiene products, making the state the first to ban the chemical for this use.
For more than 30 years, triclosan has been used as an antibacterial chemical in products including antibacterial soaps and body washes, dishwashing liquids, cosmetics, deodorants and toothpastes. The chemical has also been used in other materials, such as textiles, to make them resistant to bacteria.
Studies in lab animals have suggested that triclosan may disrupt hormones that play an important role in reproduction and development, whereas other research indicates the antibacterial may contributing to the rise in drug-resistant bacteria.
The FDA has acknowledged the research, stating that it “is engaged in an ongoing scientific and regulatory review of this ingredient.” However, the agency “does not have sufficient safety evidence to recommend changing consumer use of products that contain triclosan at this time.”
An estimated 75% of anti-bacterial soaps and body washes sold in the United States contain triclosan.
“There currently is no evidence that over-the-counter antibacterial soap products are any more effective at preventing illness than washing with plain soap and water,” the FDA wrote in a consumer statement on their website.
The FDA and EPA are currently working together to evaluate new research claims about triclosan in consumer products and pesticides.
- United States Center for Disease Control. (2013). Triclosan Fact Sheet. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/biomonitoring/Triclosan_FactSheet.html
- United States Federal Drug Administration. (2013). FDA Taking Closer Look at ‘Antibacterial’ Soap. Retrieved from http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm378393.htm