Minnesota bans antibacterial chemical from soaps - KCTV5

Minnesota bans antibacterial chemical from soaps

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Within the last decade, the use of antibacterial soaps has exploded, and so has the use of a chemical found in everything from handsoap to bodywash.

Now, Minnesota lawmakers have banned it from being sold in that state.

Triclosan is often the first ingredient listed in antibacterial soaps.

Minnesota's ban only applies to products not approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Researchers say triclosan can have a negative effect on hormones when tested on rats, and it is believed to be linked to antibiotic resistance in humans.

"Everyone wants to know more, wants to learn more and wants to use more natural products, and everyone is more concerned about their health," Allison Wood said.

Wood works for Indigo Wild, a company that makes the popular all-natural Zum bath soaps and household cleaners.

She says demand for these items has spiked, in large part because more people no longer want to use chemical-laden products.

"We don't use any chemicals in any of our products, and while we talk about all the good, we also talk about what we call dirty words and triclosan is one of those words," she said.

But some experts like toxicologist Tama Sawyer says the controversy is overblown.

"As far as I'm concerned, it is not a big issue. I'm not going to stop using it," she said.

Sawyer says more studies are needed, and she takes issue with the notion triclosan is responsible for antibiotic resistance.

"The reason we have antibiotic resistance germs is because we used too many antibiotics. It has nothing to do with triclosan," she said.

While there may be some concern about the safety of triclosan in Kansas City, it is unclear whether lawmakers in Kansas or Missouri are going to introduce legislation to ban it. 

Minnesota's ban on triclosan will begin in 2017.

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