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March 04 2013 09:25

State to phase out use of harmful chemical

Contact: Alexis Donath, 651-757-2312

St. Paul, Minn. — All state agencies will eliminate purchasing of hand soaps and dish and laundry cleaning products that contain triclosan by June of this year. Through Executive Order by Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton, state agencies are required to implement sustainability action plans to reduce pollution and toxics, increase energy efficiency, and conserve resources.

“By purchasing items without triclosan, state agencies are doing their part to keep this harmful chemical out of Minnesota waters,” Cathy Moeger, sustainability manager at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, said.

The state was able to use its collective buying power and developed contracts for hand soap and dish and laundry cleaning products that are triclosan-free. In some situations, uses of triclosan-containing products may be allowed in medical or other specific settings.

Triclosan, an endocrine-disrupting compound, is believed to contribute to antibiotic resistance and causes other health and environmental problems. It is an antimicrobial ingredient in products like hand soap, toothpaste, cleaning products, fabric, toys, kitchenware and industrial pesticides. Recent University of Minnesota studies have found triclosan in lake sediment.

Triclosan-free products are readily available in many stores.

The Minnesota Department of Health, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and American Medical Association say there is no evidence that triclosan provides any benefit over washing with regular soap and water.

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