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9/1/2014 11:12:38 AM

US Safety fears over common used chemical Triclosan in soap, toothpastes

The Food and Drug Administration said recent research raises "valid concerns" about the possible health effects of triclosan, an antibacterial chemical found in a growing number of liquid soaps, hand sanitizers, dishwashing liquids, shaving gels and even socks, workout clothes and toys.

The FDA and the Environmental Protection Agency say they are taking a fresh look at triclosan, which is so ubiquitous that is found in the urine of 75 percent of the population, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The reassessment is the latest signal that the Obama administration is willing to reevaluate the possible health impacts of chemicals that have been in widespread use.

Triclosan is a widely-used antiseptic and antibacterial agent that has been in use for about 30 years.

Now, the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) says it is looking into studies that triclosan can alter hormone levels in animals and, therefore, perhaps have an effect on humans.

There are also claims that the chemical actually increases bacterial resistance to antibiotics, potentially leading to future superbugs.

The European Union has recently banned triclosan from any products that come into contact with food.

Woman washing her hands at the sink

US Safety fears over common used chemical Triclosan in soap, toothpastesUS Safety fears over common used chemical Triclosan in soap, toothpastes

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