Do your products contain this banned chemical?

Posted by Angela - Naturally Safe Cosmetics on 8th Sep 2016

Along with providing a one-stop online destination for all your natural & organic beauty & body care needs, we at Naturally Safe Cosmetics are passionate about raising consumer awareness about chemicals used in everyday products and the potential effects on our health.

There's still a long way to go as far as the regulation of chemicals in cosmetics is concerned and countries like Australia and the US are sadly lagging behind compared to places like the European Union, Canada and even Japan. But there are changes afoot around the world and in this article, we highlight one of the latest significant developments.

US Government body takes action on commonly used ingredient

On 2 September 2016, news broke that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has banned soap products containing 19 active ingredients, including the notorious chemical triclosan, marketed as antiseptics. At this stage, the FDA ban does not include antibacterial hand sanitisers as these are being evaluated separately.

What is triclosan?

Triclosan is an antibacterial agent and preservative used in many personal care and household cleaning products, such as soaps, detergents, shampoos, toothpaste, mouthwash, and even in bedding, kitchen utensils and toys. Triclosan and other "antibacterial” ingredients are marketed as being beneficial in preventing the spread of germs but evidence suggests this may not be the case. In addition, manufacturers have failed to prove that products containing these ingredients are safe or that they are more effective in removing germs than plain old soap and water.

Triclosan is emerging as a particularly nasty culprit. It is a persistent toxin in the environment (also affecting wildlife) and in humans has been associated with endocrine (hormonal) toxicity, organ system toxicity, risk of staph infections (through bacterial resistance) and irritation/allergies.

The European Union banned Triclosan from use in products that come into contact with food in 2010. In 2015, it began to phase triclosan out of all personal products.

In relation to this latest development, Janet Woodcock, Director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in a statement that some data suggests that antibacterial ingredients may do more harm than good over the long-term.

We wonder how long it will be before Australian authorities start to take action in relation to triclosan?