Good-bye Triclosan, Almost!

Protect Lakes and Streams
Protect Lakes and Streams

Twenty-five years ago I thought antibacterial soap was a good thing.  We have learned it is harmful to people and water creatures. When we wash our hands these chemicals end up in our waterways. Researchers have found that use of triclosan could create a resistance to antibiotics creating superbugs. Also, triclosan could be harmful to fish and aquatic life causing an imbalance in their hormones. Like many chemicals we put in our waterways, triclosan is something we all should avoid. Luckily, Minnesota banned the use of triclosan in soaps several years ago, but I am still seeing it in hand wash when I travel around the country.  I was thrilled to hear the FDA had banned it from products because there is no evidence it is better than soap without antibiotics.  As with many things, the original information was wrong.  NPR had an informative story on superbugs, and the United Nation’s concern about them, read it here. And the Star Tribune has an informative post on triclosan.

What is triclosan and why should you care? It is an antibacterial used in hand wash, cleaning products, soaps, lotions and some other products.  For sometime it has been recommended not to purchase products using triclosan because it can lead to antibiotic resistance and hormone imbalance, and it is harmful to fish. Unfortunately, triclosan has been allowed to remain in Colgate Toothpaste. I recommend not using Colgate products. See the story below.

What if you have a product with triclosan? The Minnesota Pollution Control told me to throw it in the garbage. DO NOT PUT DOWN THE DRAIN or toilet.




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