All state agencies will eliminate purchasing of hand soaps, dish, and laundry products that contain triclosan by June of this year. Through Executive Order by 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,” said Cathy Moeger, sustainability manager at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.
The state was able to use its collective buying power and find contracts for hand soap, dish, and laundry 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, Food and Drug Administration, American Medical Association say there is no evidence that triclosan provides any benefit over washing with regular soap and water. Read MDH's information about antibacterial soap vs. plain soap.
What you can do
Simple changes in our everyday routines such as how we choose the cleaning products we buy, or the way we clean our houses, can reduce our long-term exposure to potentially harmful substances.
Endocrine-disrupting compounds webpage