Washington, D.C. – Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva, Louise M. Slaughter and Betty McCollum responded today to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) decision to reevaluate the use of triclosan and triclocarban– dangerous antibacterial chemical ingredients found in soaps and body washes– unless industry can provide evidence that they are safe and effective.
In November 2010, the three representatives submitted a letter to the Commissioner of the FDA urging a revaluation of triclosan. In March 2011 Rep. Slaughter co-authored an opinion piece for Politico with now-Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) describing the negative hormonal and development impacts of triclosan spelled out in several animal studies.
The public comment period will last until June 2014, and additional data, information, and studies can be submitted to the FDA until December 2014.
“Few things on the market today need a more urgent and comprehensive review, and it’s about time this one got started,” Rep. Grijalva said. “I’m glad, just like my colleagues on the Hill and consumer advocates around the country, that the FDA is taking the right steps. We can’t always trust the invisible hand when it comes to product safety and chemical policy. We need good regulators and reasonable oversight. Today the FDA decided to protect the public, and it should be commended. I’m going to watch carefully to make sure the process goes forward as it should.”
“Three years after we wrote to the FDA expressing concern regarding ‘antibacterial’ chemicals like triclosan and triclocarban contained in soaps and body washes, we are encouraged that the FDA is taking steps to ban them from use,” Rep. Slaughter said. “These chemicals change the way our bodies respond to our own hormones, and their use contributes to antibiotic resistance, weakening the effects of antibiotics that we use to treat serious infections. I remain committed to ensuring that these dangerous chemicals are not used in household products, and will be keeping a close eye on the FDA as they move forward on this issue.
“Triclosan and triclocarban require a serious evaluation for the sake of our nation’s environment and the public health of our citizens,” Rep. McCollum said. “It is critical that the FDA take action to fully understand the consequences of what has become a pervasive chemical in consumer products.”