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Time to Ban Triclosan From Household Use

The chemical triclosan is present in most antibacterial products. But it’s a known endocrine (or hormone) disruptor, which can affect thyroid function – and is even linked to liver cancer.

Triclosan doesn’t offer any proven 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 like soaps, tooth paste and potentially teething toys, Canadians are subject to chronic exposure to this hormone-mimicking chemical. Triclosan is even linked to the growth in antibiotic-resistant bacteria, so-called "superbugs".

The chemical pollutes our waterways and is toxic to the environment, especially to aquatic organisms. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently banned banned triclosan from hand and body wash. While the Canadian government plans to list triclosan as toxic under federal law, it has not moved to ban triclosan.

Canadians should not be washing their hands with a potentially cancer-causing chemical banned from products in the U.S. We urge Health Canada to ban the household use of triclosan.

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The Honourable
Minister of Environment and Climate Change
Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health