Clean up in Aisle 3

Last week, I wrote about our work with Congressman Markey to push FDA to take action on the endocrine disrupting chemicals triclosan and triclocarban.  As a result, we got a bit of a boost with FDA's announcement that the products that use these chemicals for their “antibacterial” properties were no more effective than washing your hands with regular soap and water.  FDA also acknowledged evidence of their potential harmful health effects and their role in developing antibiotic resistance.  But it wasn't enough.

Today, Markey sent letters to 13 companies that are known to make products that contain triclosan (such as Rubbermaid, Colgate-Palmolive, Procter and Gamble, and Unilever) urging them to voluntarily remove them from consumer soaps, products especially marketed for children, and products that come into contact with food. 

It's been more than 30 years, and we're still waiting for a lackluster FDA to take some real action.  So I urge these companies to set the bar for FDA and everyone else by removing triclosan and triclocarban from their products.  We need to get these chemicals off of the shelves and out of our homes, and I’m happy to see Congressman Markey pushing companies to just that. 

Hopefully, there will come a time when we don't have to be vigilant about reading labels and can just know that we are safe.  In the meantime, my colleague Gina Solomon has some advice on how you can limit your exposure.