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Monday, December 16, 2013

FDA Finally Wakes Up re: Triclosan

As widely-reported by multiple news media outlets today, the FDA is finally taking a step to stem the use of triclosan in various consumer products, including hand-hygiene products aka 'antibacterial soap'.

Though an assortment of competing headlines and lead-ins miscast the latest news with titles that read "FDA seeks stricter rules for antibacterial soaps", the issue is about triclosan, not anti-bacterial soaps per se.

*In light of these data, the agency issued a proposed rule on Dec. 16, 2013 that would require manufacturers to provide more substantial data to demonstrate the safety and effectiveness of antibacterial soaps. The proposed rule covers only those consumer antibacterial soaps and body washes that are used with water. It does not apply to hand sanitizers, hand wipes or antibacterial soaps that are used in health care settings such as hospitals.

This topic has been fermenting for years, best evidenced by mentions within this blog over the past 7 years. Who says "7 is not a lucky number"?

A favorite observation on this this topic came from one of the leading experts in the field, one who prefers that his name not be attributed here : "Pour enough triclosan into a swimming pool and you'll soon discover little green monsters that look just like Martians lounging on your pool floats. Yes, I'm exaggerating, but when I cautioned the FDA folks that triclosan is a carcinogen, they asked whether the two word also rhyme."