During the last few weeks we’ve seen so many important triclosan-related developments that, here at CEH world headquarters, we’ve begun calling January “Triclosan Awareness Month.” Some of it is good news, some bad, but all is important enough that we want to make sure you’re in the loop.
If you’re just tuning in, triclosan is the pesticide that’s added to soap and many other products to kill germs. It’s also toxic enough to disrupt your hormones and decrease your sperm production at the same time.
First, thousands of you have signed our letter to EPA, urging the government to take swift action to end uses of this toxic chemical. Thank you! If you haven’t had the chance to sign the letter yet, take just a few seconds to add your name.
Second, Colgate-Palmolive announced that they will eliminate triclosan from their Palmolive dish/hand soap, and their Softsoap hand soap products. Because it’s a huge company, that’s a huge step in the right direction.
But we can’t help noticing that the company has no plans to eliminate triclosan from its Colgate Total brand toothpaste. Colgate claims it’s for health reasons (“killing gingivitis”). CEH suggests that it’s (probably) a result of ruthless marketing by the powerful chemical industry.
After all, as we mentioned in our petition, triclosan now makes a lot of money for the chemical companies that make it, the companies that make products containing it, and the stores that sell those products. Still, Colgate-Palmolive has set itself apart from other companies by taking swift action to eliminate triclosan. We hope that other producers and retailers will now follow in Colgate-Palmolive’s footsteps and offer safer, triclosan-free formulas to families worldwide.
Third, researchers at UC San Francisco published some bad news. A national study of environmental chemicals in pregnant women found that 87% of them were carrying triclosan in their bodies. Worse yet: triclosan was one of the chemicals found in women in the highest concentration. Not pregnant? Sad to say, there’s likely to be triclosan in you as well, since the researchers didn’t find differences between pregnant and non-pregnant women.
At CEH, we’re taking important steps to turn the tide against the all-to-common toxic chemical. We continue to gather signatures on our petition to end the use of toxic triclosan as a pesticide.
We also believe that individual companies selling this stuff should be held responsible. That’s why we will be pushing major producers and retailers to protect people from toxic, immunodepressive, sperm-curdling triclosan now!
Stay tuned to see where our campaign against triclosan takes us. You can help by spreading the word (pass our petition link on to your friends!) and keeping the pressure on. In the following months, we’ll work hard to get rid of this unnecessary toxic antibacterial once-and-for-all!