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Federal Triclosan Inaction Highlights Assessment Weaknesses

What next for Triclosan? — Take it off the shelf!

Common antimicrobial declared “toxic” by the Federal Government —no action proposed
USA banning triclosan – it doesn’t work, and may create “super-bugs”
Canadian federal inaction highlights flawed environmental health science approaches

Health, and Environment and Climate Change Canada have just concluded that germ-fighting triclosan is “toxic” because enough escapes sewage plants to harm aquatic species, but the feds have yet to say what a Pollution Prevention Plan would entail. Canada is asking about substitutes, while the US Food and Drug Administration is banning triclosan personal products in because it is unnecessary — there is no evidence that triclosan reduces infections.

Canada might take action by 2020.

Triclosan has been linked to antibiotic resistance even in house dust – an urgent global priority according to the World Health Organization.

“Why dose the environment and population with a known toxicant,” questioned Prevent Cancer Now chair, Dr. Meg Sears, “when it does no good and can undermine antibiotics?” She continued, “The last country to ban toxins suffers dumping of discounted products. This is no bargain!”

Germ-killing triclosan, once a select tool for medical practitioners, is now common in soaps, detergents, mouthwashes, cosmetics, deodorants, plastics, clothing … a multitude of products. It is also common in Canadian water, soil, even blood and urine.

Triclosan and toxic breakdown products look and act like hormones, potentially contributing to cancers, and impacting reproduction and development.

Canadian federal hazard and risk conclusions were out of date and understated the day that they were released. The Federal Risk Assessment document references no 2016 peer-reviewed literature, although many relevant studies have been published.

Sears concluded, “Canadians shouldn’t need a chemical dictionary and magnifying glass to shop. Politicians are examining the Canadian Environmental Protection Act – let’s hope that they shift to a framework for least-toxic options … that work!”