Tuesday, January 19, 2010

75 Groups Call For Ban On Antimicrobial Pesticide Triclosan

Jan 15: Over 75 environmental and health groups, lead by Beyond Pesticides and Food and Water Watch, petitioned U.S. EPA to ban the use of the widely used antimicrobial pesticide triclosan. Triclosan is linked to endocrine disruption, cancer and antibiotic resistance and found in 75% of people tested in government biomonitoring studies. The groups requested that EPA must act to stop the use of a chemical now commonly found in soaps, toothpaste, deodorants, cosmetics, clothing, and plastic, with a nearly $1 billion market and growing. In their petition, the groups cite numerous statutes under which they believe the government must act to stop non-medical uses of triclosan, including laws regulating pesticide registration, use and residues, clean and safe drinking water, and endangered species.

Jay Feldman, executive director of Beyond Pesticides said, “Given its widespread environmental contamination and public health risk, EPA has a responsibility to ban household triclosan use in a marketplace where safer alternatives are available to manage bacteria." Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch said, “Scientific studies indicate that widespread use of triclosan causes a number of serious health and environmental problems. EPA needs to ban its use in non-medical settings and stop allowing companies that market triclosan to exploit consumer fears regarding bacterial-borne illnesses.”

Regulated by both EPA and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), triclosan is commonly found in hand soaps, toothpastes, deodorants, laundry detergents, fabric softeners, facial tissues, antiseptics, fabrics, toys, and medical devices. The petition to EPA seeks expedited action by the agency to ban household triclosan use, challenging serious deficiencies in EPA’s September 2008 reregistration of triclosan and its failure to comply with environmental statutes.

Access a lengthy release from Beyond Pesticides with links to additional information (
click here). Access the petition to EPA (click here). Access the Environmental Working Group website on Triclosan (click here).