Take Triclosan out of Consumer Products!

  • by: Environmental Defence
  • target: Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment and the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health
Triclosan, the active ingredient in most antibacterial products, is a known endocrine disruptor, which can cause thyroid problems and cancer. The Canadian Medical Association has called for it to be banned from consumer products, out of concern that triclosan could contribute to antibiotic resistant bacteria, also known as "superbugs." Triclosan also contaminates the environment, washing down our drains to pollute rivers and lakes.

Triclosan has not been shown to have an added health benefit, and the long term effects of chronic low-grade exposure in humans are unknown. Yet, through the proliferation of triclosan in consumer products, Canadians are subject to chronic exposure to this chemical, which has been shown to mimic hormones and pollute waterways.

Canadians should not be brushing their teeth and washing their dishes with a cancer-causing chemical. Urge Health Canada to ban the household use of triclosan!
I am writing to applaud you on the federal government's announcement of the preliminary screening assessment of triclosan, an anti-bacterial chemical used in hundreds of products ranging from hand sanitizers to makeup and even smartphone cases, that has been shown to be toxic to fish and wildlife.

While it's an important step forward in protecting our physical environment and animal life from toxic substances, I'm concerned that children and adults are still being exposed to this harmful chemical. Triclosan persists in the environment, washing down drains to pollute rivers and lakes. Professional medical associations are concerned that the chemical may be contributing to the spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria ("superbugs"). Triclosan is also a known endocrine disruptor, interfering with the human body's natural hormones, and its breakdown products include the human carcinogens chloroform and dioxins, one of the most toxic groups of substances known.

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I urge you to build on Canada's groundbreaking triclosan assessment and your continued work on protecting human health from harmful chemicals, by introducing a formal ban on triclosan from household use.

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