Tell the FDA to Add a Review of Triclosan to the FY Priorities Document!

In 1978 the FDA proposed to regulate antibacterial soaps and allow on the market only those it determined were safe and effective. However, the agency created a loophole for most of the chemicals: the FDA stated there was not enough data to say the chemicals were safe or effective, yet allowed them to stay on the market until the agency finalized its proposal.

Nearly four decades later, the FDA has still never made a final determination, but the use of triclosan, a known hormone disruptor that may lead to antibiotic resistance, has mushroomed—it’s now found in an estimated 75% of antibacterial liquid soaps and body washes sold in the US, as well as in mouthwash, toothpaste, and toys.

Bowing to pressure, the FDA’s researchers finally plan to deliver a review this year on the effectiveness and safety of triclosan and a close relative, triclocarban, used in bar soaps. The agency plans to take action by 2016, yet this review is nowhere listed in the FDA’s Strategic Priorities document for FY 2014–2018. Demand that they stick to their stated 2016 deadline, and suggest they issue a draft proposal on triclosan by 2015 to give the public time to review and comment.

(Please personalize your message if you have the time!)


  • Stephen Ostroff


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