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Triclosan Remains a Hot Topic

April 4, 2013

Analyses of research finding extremely low levels of an antibacterial ingredient in waterways are completely distorting facts about its safety and effectiveness, according to the American Cleaning Institute (ACI). Researchers in Minnesota published a paper that describes their finding of the ingredient triclosan in some of the state’s waterways. Unfortunately, said ACI, the researchers’ publicity efforts promoting their paper, implying safety concerns about triclosan, does not reflect the overall body of research on triclosan.

“We would commend the researchers for being able to find vanishingly low levels of chemicals in the environment, but point out they ignore that there are no negative impacts associated with those trace compounds in the environment,” said Dr. Paul DeLeo, ACI’s senior director of environmental safety.
“While it is true that triclosan was invented in the mid-1960s, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) did not issue its first proposed over-the-counter (OTC) drug monograph allowing for the ingredient to be used and marketed in antimicrobial washes until 1978,” said DeLeo. “Furthermore, soap companies did not mass market consumer antimicrobial products containing triclosan until 1989. Moreover, the FDA did not approve triclosan to be used in dentifrices until the mid- to late-1990s.”
Currently, FDA and Health Canada have publicly indicated that triclosan does not harm human health. Some media reports on the new research have erroneously reported about antibiotics being found in Minnesota waterways.

“We are deeply concerned about the recent proliferation of biased and inaccurate information being reported on triclosan,” said Dr. DeLeo. “Our overriding concern is the safety of those who use our products. Families can continue to use antibacterial soaps and hygiene products with confidence and use them in everyday situations. “

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