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Minnesota Says No To Triclosan

Environment concerns prompt state to avoid purchasing soaps, cleansers with the ingredient

by Cheryl Hogue
March 10, 2013 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 91, Issue 10

Come June, Minnesota state agencies will be able to purchase only soaps and detergents that are free of the antibacterial ingredient triclosan. State officials say they are concerned that the chemical has been linked to endocrine disruption and the growing threat of antibiotic resistance.

The move makes Minnesota the first state to adopt a procurement policy that specifically prohibits the purchase of products with triclosan, sources representing industry and environmental and health advocates tell C&EN.

Some states already avoid purchasing triclosan-containing products. For instance, some state policies require the purchase of products certified by the nonprofit Green Seal, which deems products environmentally sustainable. It excludes items with triclosan.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency says a recent study found triclosan and triclosan-derived dioxins in the sediments of lakes in Minnesota that receive treated sewage (Environ. Sci. Technol., DOI: 10.1021/es3045289).

“By purchasing items without triclosan, state agencies are doing their part to keep this harmful chemical out of Minnesota waters,” says Cathy Moeger, sustainability manager at the Pollution Control Agency. The state makes an exception for products with triclosan that are to be used in situations such as medical settings.


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