Scientists have known for years that triclosan has a range of awful effects, from strengthening bacterial resistance to possibly even altering our very DNA. Minnesota is the first state taking a stand against the chemical, banning it entirely. Starting in 2017, triclosan, which is found in 75% of antibacterial hand soaps, will no longer be allowed in any retail consumer hygiene products within the state.
Triclosan is found in a lot of consumer products, some that you would never even suspect – like kitchenware, clothing and furniture – in addition to soap, toothpaste and body washes. But according to the FDA, the chemical is no better at washing away the germs than plain soap and water. That means that basically triclosan can cause a host of problems but it isn’t actually providing any real benefit in exchange.
Although Minnesota is the first to ban the chemical outright, it has been under fire for a while. Just a few months ago, the FDA told anti-bacterial product manufacturers that they had to demonstrate that their products are safe and that they actually work. But until the federal government steps in, it is up to the states to protect consumers and Minnesota is leading the way.