Earlier in May, the FDA announced that it will begin a reexamination of Triclosan, a very common antibacterial ingredient. Found in everything from hand sanitizers to counter top cleaning sprays to plastic surfaces on changing tables, Triclosan has long been criticized by environmental groups and some scientists.

In addition to claims that Triclosan is not truly effective at eliminating bacteria, many have raised questions about the safety of the ingredient. Most recently, animal studies have revealed that Triclosan exposure can lead to hormonal imbalances, reproductive difficulties and the early onset of sexual maturity.

The approval of Triclosan for use in the United States can be traced back to 1978. Initially, the ingredient was not found to be “generally accepted as safe,” but under pressure from industries and with no real scientific evidence that Triclosan posed health risks, the FDA eventually updated its status. In 1997, the administration even okay-ed the use of the antibacterial chemical in toothpastes.

According to the FDA, the review of Triclosan was not prompted due to safety concerns, but because of evidence that now suggests that the ingredient is ineffective. The administration has not stated that any products that contain Triclosan, including the 75 percent of all antibacterial soaps that contain the ingredient, are unsafe to use.

Still, the announcement has led many to begin looking for Triclosan-free products. If you're concerned about the use of Tricolan, we recommend our e-Cloth Antibacterial cleaning cloths, which remove up to 99 percent of household germs when used with just plain water. 

Are you concerned about Triclosan? What have you done to eliminate its use in your home? Let us know in the Comments section.

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