Walmart announced it will be banning the chemical triclosan from its stores. The company projects this will take three years (until 2016) to accomplish. What age is your child now? Your friend’s child? Your sister or brother’s child? Should they be using these products for the next three years?
Triclosan, an ingredient added to many consumer products to reduce or prevent bacterial contamination, may be found in products such as clothing, kitchenware, furniture, and toys. It also may be added to antibacterial soaps and body washes, toothpastes, and some cosmetics—products regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
However, while the FDA approves the use of triclosan, the agency is currently responding to public demand for its removal: "Several scientific studies have come out since the last time FDA reviewed this ingredient that merit further review."
According to the FDA, "Animal studies have shown that triclosan alters hormone regulation. Other studies in bacteria have raised the possibility that triclosan contributes to making bacteria resistant to antibiotics."
The Mayo Clinic points out how triclosan doesn't have to be ingested to cause damage; "When you use a product containing triclosan, you can absorb a small amount through your skin or mouth. A 2008 study, which was designed to assess exposure to triclosan in a representative sample of U.S. children and adults, found triclosan in the urine of nearly 75 percent of those tested."
As part of its sustainability program Walmart has put its vendors on notice that they must eliminate Triclosan (and 9 other chemicals) from all products by 2016. Products that don’t comply will be banned. In anticipation of this both Johnson & Johnson and Proctor & Gamble have already announced intentions to eliminate these ingredients.
For years one company, CleanWell, has been fighting to get Triclosan banned. "We have been hoping it would become the next BPA in terms of getting the concerned attention and action it deserves," reports CleanWell founder Dr. Larry Weiss. "Most of these ingredients serve vital purposes, for example the preservatives keep bad things from growing in our soaps and lotions. We want to be sure one bad ingredient isn’t replaced with another."
CleanWell is offering Examiner readers a 20% off discount code!
Go to CleanWellToday.com and enter the code: SAYNO (as in, "Say NO to triclosan")
Offer expires 11/30/13.