MINNEAPOLIS (Feb. 21, 2014 ) — The Minneapolis City Council this week approved a resolution that supports phasing out the antibacterial chemical triclosan from consumer products in Minnesota.
Triclosan in consumer products causes known problems without having demonstrated benefits. The chemical appears in a wide range of consumer products – including soap, mouthwash, detergent, deodorant and even packaging – even though in these products it has not been proven to protect health.
Triclosan has been shown to break down in lakes and rivers into potent, cancer-causing agents that accumulate in the food chain. Triclosan has been shown to disrupt healthy hormone production and pose risks to healthy muscle function and reproduction. Studies show that antibacterial products may result in the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
About 75 percent of Americans test positive for triclosan – mostly from exposure to household consumer products – according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The City encourages Minneapolis residents, businesses and public agencies to protect human health and water quality by avoiding buying products that contain triclosan.
The Minnesota Legislature is considering a prohibition on triclosan in consumer products, and the United States Food and Drug Administration is considering a rule to require manufacturers of antibacterial hand soaps and body washes to demonstrate that their products are safe for long-term daily use and more effective than plain soap and water in preventing illness and the spread of certain infections. The City urges the Minnesota Legislature and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to take these actions.
Expertise from Clean Water Action and Friends of the Mississippi River supported the resolution.
The City has internal policies designed to use less polluting products to eliminate or reduce toxins that create hazards to our community. These policies already prohibit triclosan in municipal operations.