November 19, 2010 -- Congresswoman McCollum Calls for FDA to Ban Triclosan PDF Print
For Immediate Release: November 19, 2010
Contact: Maria Reppas, (202) 225-6631 / (202) 527-0149 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Common Ingredient Poses Serious Threat to Human Health and the Environment

Washington, DC - Congresswoman Betty McCollum (MN-04) joined House Rules Committee Chairwoman Louise Slaughter (NY-28), and Congressman Raul Grijalva (AZ-07) in asking the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ban triclosan. A common ingredient in many over-the-counter products, triclosan has been considered dangerous by the scientific community, and it may contribute to antibiotic resistance. Triclosan is also likely to lead to higher health care costs.

In a recent letter to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, the three Members of Congress press the regulatory agency to take immediate steps to protect Americans from this dangerous compound.

"Triclosan is found in so many everyday products and its health and environmental impacts should be cause for serious concern," said Congresswoman McCollum. "I am urging the FDA to take action as soon as possible to protect the American people. Triclosan is not only contributing to antibiotic resistance, it is also an endocrine disruptor and dioxin. There is no reason for consumer products to contain triclosan as they are no more effective in protecting against illness than products without it."

"For too long, we've played public health roulette by allowing persistent chemicals into consumer products with no assurance they are safe for humans or the environment," said David Wallinga, M.D., of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy in Minneapolis. "Triclosan is the latest in a long line of `bad acting' chemicals - the fact that it also destroys the healthy bacteria protecting our environment is only another mark against it. We thank Congresswoman McCollum for her leadership on this serious public health issue."

A copy of the letter is available here.

Congresswoman Betty McCollum serves on the House Appropriations and Budget Committees.