American Morning

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April 12th, 2010
10:00 AM ET

FDA taking a closer look at key chemical in anti-bacterials

(CNN) – The Food and Drug Administration is taking a closer look at a chemical found in many anti-bacterial products.

One concern is that the chemical Triclosan has been linked to altering hormone regulation in animals. The FDA also says some of anti-bacterial products are no more effective than plain old soap and water.

Dr. Sarah Janssen, a scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council, joined us on Monday's American Morning to discuss the FDA's review.


Filed under: Health
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. stanlee

    Alcohol based disinfectants and antimicrobial handsoaps are the best for killing germs without messing with your hormones or causing other nasty reactions. It's not just triclosan that is bad for you. Phenols, bleach, quats, ammonia, and others can cause problems, such as respiratory irritation, and bacteria can develop resistance to many of these harmful chemicals. Conversely, bacteria also do not develop resistance to alcohol-based products. I use urthpro as a general cleaner and disinfectant because it is alcohol-based, but has a lower alcohol concentration than lysol, and no nasty chemicals. Hopefully, companies get a clue and take triclosan and other harmful chemicals out of consumer products.

    April 13, 2010 at 12:20 pm |
  2. Faith

    My concern is that schools too often use hand sanitizers (alcohol based and other) on our young children instead of hand washing. These products dry the skin and reduce skin's resistance to bacteria. these products have not been studied in young children only in lab settings on a limited range of bacteria. Hand washing should be first choice as it washes germs down the drain. With many viruses, pinworm eggs (likely in the goose poop on the playground) and C. difficile bacteria resistant to alcohol it makes sense to wash down the drain than to douse in alcohol.

    April 13, 2010 at 6:23 am |
  3. Tom G

    I read triclosan was proven to be good for you in toothpaste. That even if you always swollow your toothpaste it would take about a hundred thousand tubes to even come causing harm.

    April 13, 2010 at 12:37 am |
  4. qwerty

    When she says it's time to pull these products off the shelf, that sounds like it needs action now.. why are these chemicals still put into our supply after all these years.. they've known about this for a long time and just now come out with a report like this and the chemicals are STILL being put into the supply.. it's the same thing with many of the chemicals that are being put into our food.. they wouldn't be targeting our reproductive systems on purpose would they.. or adding this chemical along with many others that they haven't come out with a report on yet just a coincidence..

    April 12, 2010 at 11:11 am |
  5. Elisa

    This story is long overdue. American's are bombarded daily by a countless number of chemicals either through the environment or directly into our skin. The cosmetic industry is loaded with them. Unlike other countries like Canda and France, our government officials, especially those in the FDA, refuse to acknowledge that such chemicals, like the ones found in most hand sanitizers, are harmful.
    The best place to make a difference is at the cash register. Choose to buy only natural products with NO FRAGRANCES and those that score zero or closer on the Environmental Working Group's Cosmetic Safety Database. We do not have to be victims of big business.

    April 12, 2010 at 11:07 am |