Will FDA Ban Triclosan?

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If you’ve ever used antibacterial soap, chances are you’ve rubbed the chemical triclosan on your hands. In fact, says the Washington Post, triclosan is so common that it’s been found in the urine of 75 percent of the population. Mother Jones reported that it’s also been detected in breast milk and 58 percent of US waterways. The problem: Experts strongly suspect that the chemical disrupts the endocrine system and also could contribute to antibiotic resistance.

Good news, then, that the FDA has finally decided to investigate the health effects of triclosan. An FDA spokesperson told the Post:

“For triclosan, the science is changing,” Throckmorton said. “Based on what we know, we don’t have evidence to suggest this chemical is a threat to human health. However, we have to understand better the health effects and we have to work with other agencies to collect that information and then decide whether or not we need to change how it’s regulated.”

But the soap industry trade group has already fought back. Says Brian Sansoni of the Soap and Detergent Association:

“These products and ingredients have been reviewed, regulated and researched for decades,” he said. “We believe the science strongly supports the safety and efficacy of these products. It’s more important than ever that consumers continue to have access to these products. It’s a time of increased threats from disease and germs.”

Could Americans’ germaphobia actually be making us less healthy? More here.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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