Products containing Triclosan
Four years ago, John wrote There's A Frog Disruptor In My Soap, noting that "Triclosan, widely used in soaps and toothpastes for its ability to kill bacteria, has been found to hasten the transformation of tadpoles into adult frogs." A year ago we wrote about a petition to the Food and Drug Administration to get rid of the stuff, because it probably does more harm than good.
Finally, it appears that the FDA is listening.
The FDA was asked by Rep. Edward J. Markey, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee's subcommittee on Energy and the Environment, to look at the use of triclosan. They responded last week:
Animal studies have shown that triclosan alters hormone regulation. However, data showing effects in animals don't always predict effects in humans. Other studies in bacteria have raised the possibility that triclosan contributes to making bacteria resistant to antibiotics.
In light of these studies, FDA is engaged in an ongoing scientific and regulatory review of this ingredient. FDA does not have sufficient safety evidence to recommend changing consumer use of products that contain triclosan at this time.
According to the Wall Street Journal, it will take about a year to study the issue. So what should you do in the meantime?
Dr. David Ozonoff, an epidemiologist and professor of environmental health at the Boston University School of Public Health, makes a recommendation in the Boston Globe:
"If there's no evidence that this thing is going to do me any good and there may be some risk," he said, "why would I screw around with it?"
TreeHugger on Triclosan:
There's A Frog Disruptor In My Soap
Antibacterial Cleaners Do More Harm Than Good
"Frog Disruptor In My Soap", Revisited
Why Is There Still a Frog Disruptor In My Toothpaste?
Germ Fighters Lead to Hardier Germs
Canadian Medical Association Calls for Ban on Triclosan