Toxic Triclosan Banned From Soap but Lingers in Consumer Products

The Food and Drug Administration announced earlier this month that it will finally ban the use of triclosan, a toxic chemical associated with hormone disruption in people, in antibacterial hand soaps. The FDA determined there wasn’t enough information to prove that triclosan was safe and effective.

The FDA gave companies one year to get triclosan-containing hand soaps off the market, and banned 18 other antibacterial ingredients that were allowed in soaps. It is continuing to review the safety and efficacy of three other chemicals, as well as hand sanitizers.

EWG and other environmental and public health groups have campaigned for a ban on triclosan for years. While the FDA's action is welcome, it will not end Americans' exposures to triclosan.

Triclosan is still used in products such as acne treatments, body washes, Colgate Total toothpaste and some antibacterial dish soaps. It is also added to many other products, including fabrics and plastic items marketed as “germ-killing” or “antibacterial,” though it is not listed on their labels. EWG recommends consumers avoid purchasing products with antibacterial treatments whenever possible.

Read more about how to avoid triclosan.

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