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Minnesota Becomes the First State to Ban Triclosan in Most Consumer Hygienic Products

May 28, 2014

On Friday, May 23, 2014, the state of Minnesota became the first state to ban the germ-killing chemical, Triclosan, in soaps, deodorants, toothpastes, body washes, and other personal cleaning products. Triclosan is an antibacterial chemical that is raising health and environmental concerns.

The FDA will be revisiting the safety of this chemical, as it can “disrupt hormones critical for reproduction and development and contribute to the development of resistant bacteria”. Also, an increased amount of Triclosan deposit has been found in several bodies of fresh water, which can potentially “break down the water into harmful dioxins”.

Minnesota has taken the first step in removing Triclosan from hand soaps and body washes, while the FDA tightens the reins on the use of Triclosan in these types of products.

In December 2013, the FDA proposed that manufacturers will have to demonstrate that their products containing Triclosan are “safe for daily use and more effective than plain soap and water”. If a manufacturer cannot prove these two points, the antibacterial claim must be removed from the product label.

The ban won’t take effect until January 1, 2017, but market leaders plan to drop the chemical from consumer products sooner.

Why It Matters
Triclosan is used in around three-quarters of the body and antibacterial soaps sold in the United States. Since retailers, consumers, and government officials have a growing awareness for health and environmental concerns, the use and safety of Triclosan will remain in question. The FDA is currently open to public feedback and concerns on the topic.

How UL Can Help
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