In an article published in the daily newspaper Guardian on May 3, 2013 the journalist Matthew Perrone reviews U.S. regulatory action on triclosan, an antimicrobial used in soaps, detergents as well as food packaging. Perrone argues that government takes too long to evaluate the chemical safety of substances used in consumer products: in the case of triclosan the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had been charged with its chemical evaluation in 1972. Some brands have already removed triclosan from their products. According to Andrea Gore, endocrine researcher at the University of Texas at Austin, “FDA is behind the curve”. Already in 1978, the FDA stated tentatively that triclosan is “not generally recognized as safe and effective” and current research agrees that longer hand washing is more effective than antibacterial ingredients.

Allison Aiello, professor at the University of Michigan, concludes in the article that the risks of using triclosan outweigh the perceived benefits. The FDA has scheduled a safety review of triclosan for 2013, after earlier deadlines in 2012 and February 2013 had passed.

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The Guardian