The FDA and the Environmental Protection Agency say they are taking a fresh look at triclosan, which is so ubiquitous that is found in the urine of 75 percent of the population, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The reassessment is the latest signal that the Obama administration is willing to reevaluate the possible health impacts of chemicals that have been in widespread use.
In a letter to a congressman that was obtained by The Washington Post, the FDA said that recent scientific studies raise questions about whether triclosan disrupts the body's endocrine system and whether it helps to create bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. An advisory panel to the FDA said in 2005 that there was no evidence the antibacterial soaps work better than regular soap and water. ... http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/07/AR2010040704621.html
http://www.webmd.com/news/20100409/triclosan-question-and-answer April 9, 2010 --
With the FDA reviewing the antibacterial chemical triclosan, widely found in everyday products such as hand soaps, body washes, toothpastes, cosmetics, toys, clothing, and furniture, should you or shouldn't you ditch products with this ingredient?
Here are the most frequently asked questions about triclosan, with answers from experts on both sides of the debate, to help you decide.
Q: What is triclosan?
Triclosan is a chemical added to many products for its antibacterial action.
Q: How long has it been in use?
''It's been in use for over 40 years," says Brian Sansoni, a spokesman for the Soap and Detergent Association, whose members produce soaps and body washes. Initially, its use was only in health care settings such as hospitals, he says.
In the last 15 years, triclosan began showing up in consumer hygiene products, he says.
Q: What prompted the recent FDA investigation of triclosan?
The FDA announcement this week about triclosan was in response to a letter from Rep. Edward J. Markey, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and the Environment. ...
Markey had sent the letter in January, requesting information about the status of the FDA's ongoing review of triclosan in consumer products.
Markey is concerned and is calling for the FDA to ban the use of triclosan in personal care products. He wants the Environmental Protection Agency to take steps, too, such as evaluating the potential of triclosan -- washed down the drain with personal care product use -- to contaminate drinking water and contribute to antibiotic resistance. ...