The Florence Statement on Triclosan and Triclocarban

More than 200 scientists outline a broad range of concerns for triclosan and triclocarban and call for reduced use worldwide

Two ingredients used in thousands of products to kill bacteria, fungi and viruses linger in the environment and pose a risk to human health, according to a statement released today by more than 200 scientists and health professionals.

The scientists say the possible benefits in most uses of triclosan and triclocarban – used in some soaps, toothpastes, detergents, paints, carpets – are not worth the risk.

SUMMARY

“Triclosan and triclocarban have been permitted for years without definitive proof they’re providing benefits.”

Avery Lindeman, Green Policy Institute

The Florence Statement on Triclosan and Triclocarban documents a consensus of more than 200 scientists and medical professionals on the hazards of and lack of demonstrated benefit from common uses of triclosan and triclocarban.

These chemicals may be used in thousands of personal care and consumer products as well as in building materials. Based on extensive peer-reviewed research, this statement concludes that triclosan and triclocarban are environmentally persistent endocrine disruptors that bioaccumulate in and are toxic to aquatic and other organisms. Evidence of other hazards to humans and ecosystems from triclosan and triclocarban is presented along with recommendations intended to prevent future harm from triclosan, triclocarban, and antimicrobial substances with similar properties and effects.

Because antimicrobials can have unintended adverse health and environmental impacts, they should only be used when they provide an evidence-based health benefit. Greater transparency is needed in product formulations, and before an antimicrobial is incorporated into a product, the long-term health and ecological impacts should be evaluated.

Sources, Studies, Press Releases

  • The Florence Statement on Triclosan and Triclocarban, Environ Health Perspect; DOI:10.1289/EHP1788, JUNE 2017.
  • Patterns, Variability, and Predictors of Urinary Triclosan Concentrations during Pregnancy and Childhood, Environ. Sci. Technol., DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.7b00325, May 18, 2017
  • Hundreds of scientists call for caution on anti-microbial chemical use, EHN, June 20, 2017.
  • Hygiene leaves kids with loads of triclosan, EHN, June 1, 2017.
  • Image credit Mike Mozart.

Triclosan and triclocarban to be removed from over-the-counter antibacterial hand and body washes

Antibacterial soap may do more harm than good, FDA says

Summary

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA, we, or the Agency) is issuing this final rule establishing that certain active ingredients used in over-the-counter (OTC) consumer antiseptic products intended for use with water (referred to throughout this document as consumer antiseptic washes) are not generally recognized as safe and effective (GRAS/GRAE) and are misbranded.

FDA is issuing this final rule after considering the recommendations of the Nonprescription Drugs Advisory Committee (NDAC); public comments on the Agency’s notices of proposed rulemaking; and all data and information on OTC consumer antiseptic wash products that have come to the Agency’s attention.

This final rule amends the 1994 tentative final monograph (TFM) for OTC antiseptic drug products that published in the Federal Register of June 17, 1994 (the 1994 TFM). The final rule is part of the ongoing review of OTC drug products conducted by FDA.

Bio-Tag – Triclosan image by finishing-school.

Sources and more information
  • Antibacterial Soap? You Can Skip It—Use Plain Soap and Water, fda, SEPTEMBER 2016.
  • FDA issues final rule on safety and effectiveness of antibacterial soaps, FDA News Release, September 2, 2016.
  • Safety and Effectiveness of Consumer Antiseptics; Topical Antimicrobial Drug Products for Over-the-Counter Human Use, federalregister, 09/06/2016.
  • Antibacterial soap may do more harm than good, FDA says, pbs newshour, september 2, 2016.

Certain chemicals in lotions, soaps and makeup additives linked to preterm births, smaller babies

Association of birth outcomes with fetal exposure to parabens, triclosan and triclocarban

Soap, makeup additives linked to preterm births, smaller babies, environmental healthnews, May 11, 2016.

Pregnant women in Brooklyn with high levels of certain compounds used in makeup and soaps were more likely to have preterm births and babies that weighed less.

The study, available online 11 March 2016, provides the first evidence that germ-killing and preservative chemicals used in cosmetics and soaps might impact newborns’ health. It also bolsters suspicions that chemicals in soaps and lotions disrupt people’s endocrine systems, which are crucial for reproduction and babies’ development. ”

Abstract

Association of birth outcomes with fetal exposure to parabens, triclosan and triclocarban in an immigrant population in Brooklyn, New York, science direct, 11 March 2016.
Image Michael Korbel.

Background
Prior studies suggest associations between fetal exposure to antimicrobial and paraben compounds with adverse reproductive outcomes, mainly in animal models. We have previously reported elevated levels of these compounds for a cohort of mothers and neonates.

Objective
We examined the relationship between human exposure to parabens and antimicrobial compounds and birth outcomes including birth weight, body length and head size, and gestational age at birth.

Methods
Maternal third trimester urinary and umbilical cord blood plasma concentrations of methylparaben (MePB), ethylparaben (EtPB), propylparaben (PrPB), butylparaben (BuPB), benzylparaben (BePB), triclosan (2,4,4′-trichloro-2′-hydroxydiphenyl ether or TCS) and triclocarban (1-(4-chlorophenyl)-3-(3,4-dichlorophenyl) urea or TCC), were measured in 185 mothers and 34 paired singleton neonates in New York, 2007–2009.

Results
In regression models adjusting for confounders, adverse exposure-outcome associations observed included increased odds of PTB (BuPB), decreased gestational age at birth (BuPB and TCC) and birth weight (BuPB), decreased body length (PrPB) and protective effects on PTB (BePB) and LBW (3′-Cl-TCC) (p < 0.05). No associations were observed for MePB, EtPB, or TCS.

Conclusions
This study provides the first evidence of associations between antimicrobials and potential adverse birth outcomes in neonates. Findings are consistent with animal data suggesting endocrine-disrupting potential resulting in developmental and reproductive toxicity.

Chemical Ingredients in Antibacterial Soaps can put Fetuses at Risk

Pregnant women and fetuses exposed to antibacterial compounds face potential health risks

image of liquid soap
Pregnant women and fetuses exposed to antibacterial compounds face potential health risks.

As the Food and Drug Administration mulls over whether to rein in the use of common antibacterial compounds that are causing growing concern among environmental health experts, scientists are reporting that many pregnant women and their fetuses are being exposed to these substances. The compounds are used in more than 2,000 everyday products marketed as antimicrobial, including toothpastes, soaps, detergents, carpets, paints, school supplies and toys, the researchers say. Pregnant women and fetuses that are exposed to triclosan and triclocarban — two common ingredients found in antibacterial soap — could face health risks.

Sources and More Information:

  • Pregnant women and fetuses exposed to antibacterial compounds face potential health risks, ACS, August 10, 2014.
  • Human fetal exposure to triclosan and triclocarban in an urban population from brooklyn, new york, NCBI PMID: 24971846, 2014 Aug 5.
  • Germ-killing chemicals common in pregnant women, newborns, Environmental Health News, August 10, 2014.
  • FDA examining antibacterial soaps, body washes, CNN, December 17, 2013.
  • FDA issues proposed rule to determine safety and effectiveness of antibacterial soaps, FDA, Dec. 16, 2013.