WASHINGTON, Dec. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- After a decade of consumer and environmental advocacy and with many manufacturers taking the hazardous ingredient triclosan out of their soap and cosmetic products, an announcement was made by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today that it will now require manufacturers to prove that their antibacterial soaps are safe and are more effective than soap and water. Groups have called on FDA and its counterpart, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (which regulates non-cosmetic products with triclosan) to immediately ban triclosan from consumer products.
"Given the marketplace shift away from triclosan, regulators should take note and immediately act to remove this toxic material from consumer products immediately. While we are pleased that FDA recognizes the triclosan problem, the time for action has long passed and the threat to consumers and the environment should end today," said Jay Feldman, executive director, Beyond Pesticides.
Due to growing public pressure, several major manufacturers have already quietly reformulated their products to exclude triclosan, while others have announced that they will no longer use the chemical. Johnson and Johnson and Proctor and Gamble have both publicly stated they will phase out triclosan from their line of products, while Colgate-Palmolive has reformulated its popular line of liquid soaps. There has also been local action around the procurement of triclosan. For instance, Minnesota announced that all state-run agencies would stop purchasing products that contain triclosan.
Since 2004, Beyond Pesticides has worked to bring public attention to the dangers surrounding the proliferate use of triclosan in consumer goods. A petition submitted to both FDA and EPA by Beyond Pesticides in 2010 calls for the ban on triclosan based on the unnecessary health and environmental risks involved with its use, given the availability of safer alternatives. Now that growing public awareness and the evolving market shift away from triclosan, the time is now for a federal ban on this unnecessary chemical.
Triclosan exploded onto the marketplace in hundreds of consumer products ranging from antibacterial soaps, deodorants, toothpastes, cosmetics, fabrics, toys, and other household and personal care products. While antibacterial products are marketed as agents that protect and safeguard against potential harmful bacteria, studies conclude that antibacterial soaps show no health benefits over plain soaps.
Triclosan's impact on the consumer market has been aided by a false public perception that antibacterial products are best to protect and safeguard against potential harmful bacteria. Studies find that it persists in the environment, has endocrine disrupting properties and may interfere with fetal development, accumulates in breast milk and other fatty tissues, can contribute to bacterial and antibiotic resistance, and contaminates waterways.
For more information on triclosan, its history, the science, and consumer advocacy, see http://www.beyondpesticides.org/antibacterial/triclosan.php. For companies that have pledged to remove triclosan from their products, see http://www.beyondpesticides.org/antibacterial/action/triclosan-freecompanies.php.
Contact: Nichelle Harriott, Jay Feldman
SOURCE Beyond Pesticides