Minnesota Bans Anti-bacterial Agent in Soaps as Pressure on Industry Grows

Minnesota Bans Anti-bacterial Agent in Soaps as Pressure on Industry Grows

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Johnson Johnson baby products

Minnesota this month became the first state in the country to ban the germ-killer triclosan from antibacterial soaps, toothpastes, body washes and other cosmetics.

Taking effect in 2017, this ban is good news because, while triclosan hasn’t been proven to be hazardous to humans, studies and scientists have raised concerns that it can disrupt thyroid gland function and hormones critical for reproduction and development, at least in lab animals, and contribute to the development of resistant bacteria.

There are environmental effects too, with the chemical being flushed down millions of Americans’ sinks. A University of Minnesota study last year found increasing levels of triclosan in lakes can break down into potentially harmful dioxins.

Additionally, its use is unnecessary since using plain soap and water is no less effective in preventing disease.

Already some manufacturers have advertised triclosan-free products or voluntarily eliminated the chemical as an ingredient. Procter & Gamble cited consumer preference in 2013 as the reason it will cut triclosan. In 2012, Johnson & Johnson did the same, first with baby products, then, in it’s adult line too.

(READ the AP story from the Minn. Star-Tribune)

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