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Wellness Tip

Watch Out for Triclosan in Soaps

by Berkeley Wellness  

Watch out for triclosan and related antibacterial agents that are still in soaps and other consumer products. In September 2016 the FDA banned the use of triclosan, triclocarban, and 17 related antibacterial chemicals in consumer hand washes and soaps. But it gave companies a year to comply, and the chemicals will remain in other products, such as some dish detergents, mouthwash, and one toothpaste, Colgate Total.

The agency determined that industry had failed to prove that soaps containing the chemicals are more effective at preventing illness than plain soap and that the chemicals are safe (concerns focused on potential hormone disruption in people and promotion of drug-resistant bacteria).

In general, be wary of products labeled “antibacterial” outside of a health care setting, unless you’ve been advised to use them by a health care provider. Alcohol in hand sanitizers is not included in the ban; the FDA is still re-evaluating its use.

Also see 6 Tips for Smart Handwashing and Are Hazardous Chemicals in Your Cosmetics?