Some Companies Stop Using Triclosan to Get On Santa's Nice List, but FDA Still Gets a Lump of Coal

 ‘Tis the season.  Our house has been hit with the baby’s first cold.  For 5 days, we have been managing the crying and whining (his and mine), but today he seems much better and has started smiling and laughing again.  I bet at this point many people would hit the store and stock up on antibacterial soaps made with triclosan and triclocarban to avoid a repeat performance. This would explain why the concentration of triclosan found in children increased by more than 50% between 2004 and 2006.  And since the swine flu craziness last year and now the reemergence of whooping cough this year, the levels found in our bodies will probably continue to increase. 

And so we have been pushing FDA to act quickly and get these chemicals off the market.  Because most companies are going to take the FDA’s lead and act only when the FDA acts.

Today Congressman Markey released responses to the letters that he had written to the CEOs of 13 companies urging them to stop manufacturing and marketing products that contain triclosan.  While a few of the companies like Victorinox, Reckitt-Benckiser, and Colgate-Palmolive already have or are planning to phase triclosan out of some or all of their products, most of the companies were relying on FDA regulations to ensure the safety and efficacy of their products.  But a year after Rep. Markey last wrote to FDA pushing for the regulation, the agency still shows no signs of movement

We’ve already been waiting more than 36 years for FDA to do something. So after playing nice with FDA and getting nowhere, we finally sued the agency this summer.  If it’s a judge’s order that FDA needs to regulate these chemicals in soaps and lotions, then that’s what we will get for them.  In the meantime, we’re hoping that more companies will follow the lead of the Reckitt-Benckisers and stop putting unnecessary triclosan and triclocarban in their products.