State finds triclosan more trouble than good

The state of Minnesota has banned triclosan, a germ-killing ingredient used in soaps, deodorants and toothpaste nationwide. Minnesota’s ban takes effect Jan. 1, 2017. This is a complicated issue, but in the end we don’t have a problem with this decision by state lawmakers.

Those who oppose the ban say triclosan is safe and that decisions to the contrary should lie with federal regulators. The Food and Drug Administration may be moving in the direction of banning triclosan use, and some manufacturers already have decided to stop using it.

Minnesota is concerned about studies showing the product to disrupt hormones critical for reproduction and development in lab animals. Also that widespread use of anti-bacterial products lead to the problem of resistant bacteria. Triclosan also can break down in the environment into potentially harmful dioxins. And there is the fact that plain soap and water are just as effective as using triclosan for the reason humans use it – preventing the spread of disease.

Minnesota’s decision may help speed up federal action on triclosan and help bring awareness to the issue of anti-bacterial overuse. Both outcomes would be good.