Triclosan is not effective and not safe, according to a report released this month by the National Resources Defense Council, which calls for the FDA to regulate it in household products. Today, in fact, the Food and Drug Administration issued a response to the recent animals studies, saying the agency will be conducting its own scientific review of triclosan.
Nearly 75% of Americans between 6 and 65 years old have the antibacterial and antimicrobial pesticide in their urine, according to NRDC, which argues that it probably came from any of multitudes of household products labeled "antibacterial." About three-quarters of household products ranging from toothpastes to cosmetics and acne creams contain triclosan or triclocarbon. The NRDC's recent report lists several studies that show negative effects of triclosan and triclocarban interfering with hormone production in lab animals. The agents could very well have similar effects on humans, according to the group.
The FDA maintains that triclosan does provide some benefit in products, like toothpaste. But NRDC says that whether this is the case, it still poses a serious health threat.
"We don't know whether it is effective on gingivitis," said Mae Wu, a spokesperson from the NRDC. "We have concerns in general on its effect on the hormone system."
The FDA's statement and update to its Website information was in response to inquiries from Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass) earlier this year. "It's in our drinking water, it's in our rivers and as a result, it's in our bodies," Markey told the Washington Post. "I don't think a lot of additional data has to be collected in order to make the simple decisions about children's toys and soaps that people use. It clearly is something that creates a danger."
Enter your city or zip code to get your local temperature and air quality and find local green food and recycling resources near you.