This week the FDA finally proposed a rule to eliminate triclosan/triclocarban (demonstrated scientifically to be endocrine disruptors and triggers for antibiotic resistance) in hand soap. Our members have been reading labels and avoiding triclosan and triclocarban for many years so this FDA announcement does not mean all that much. But for the greater group of U.S. consumers, the FDA’s proposed ban on these chemicals in hand soap is important news.
Environmental groups and some members of Congress have been calling for limits on the use of triclosan for decades. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) sued and the FDA finally agreed to do something about triclosan by 2016.
The primary justification the FDA has given for banning the use of triclosan in hand soap is due to an abundance of studies that have demonstrated there is no scientific evidence the chemical is any more effective at removing bacteria during normal hand washing than normal soap and water.
The FDA is banning 19 chemicals in antibacterial liquid or bar soap, because research has demonstrated they could cause hormonal problems or make people resistant to harmful bacteria.
The proposed ban is specifically for hand soap so if you are one of those people really diggin’ on triclosan, you are in luck because the chemical will continue to turn up in a wide array of personal care products including hand sanitizers, toothpaste and toothbrushes.