Minn. Bans Controversial Germ-Killer
Antibacterial triclosan gets the boot from soaps
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 20, 2014 10:59 AM CDT
Soaps containing triclosan at a Minneapolis pharmacy, May 19, 2014. Gov. Mark Dayton signed a bill to make Minnesota the first state to ban triclosan in cleaning products, starting Jan. 1, 2017.   (Jim Mone)

(Newser) – It's widely used nationwide as a germ-killing ingredient in soaps, deodorants, and even toothpaste, but just months after the FDA warned that triclosan may be harmful, Minnesota is now becoming the first state to ban it. The bill Gov. Mark Dayton signed Friday prohibits the use of triclosan in most retail consumer hygiene products, and would take effect Jan. 1, 2017. One of its lead sponsors, state Sen. John Marty, predicts that most manufacturers will phase out triclosan by then anyway. "While this is an effort to ban triclosan from one of the 50 states, I think it will have a greater impact than that," Marty says, noting that Procter & Gamble's Crest toothpaste is now marketing itself as triclosan-free.

While triclosan hasn't been shown to be hazardous to humans, studies have raised concerns that it can disrupt hormones critical for reproduction and development, at least in lab animals, and contribute to the development of resistant bacteria. Critics including the FDA say there's no evidence that triclosan soaps are any more effective than washing with plain soap and water. A University of Minnesota study published last year found increasing levels of triclosan in the sediments of several lakes, and that the chemical can break down in those waters into potentially harmful dioxins. Two months later, Dayton ordered all state agencies to stop buying hand soaps and dish and laundry cleaners containing triclosan. (Click for more on why you should give up hand sanitizer containing triclosan.)

Copyright 2016 Newser, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

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Showing 3 of 8 comments
TwoSheds
May 26, 2014 8:13 PM CDT
Dioxane is more than just "potentially harmful"
heyyouyou
May 21, 2014 9:48 AM CDT
Meanwhile, we will be getting our chicken straight from RED CHINA.
JERZJOE
May 20, 2014 9:38 PM CDT
next thing you know they will ban will be whiskey in your water.. sugar in your tea.. what's all these bans they are doing to me.. these are the craziest ban i have ever seen.. there ya go!!