Heading Off the TRICLOSAN Panic

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Mama Fen

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Jul 18, 2012
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#1
Those of you who work with antimicrobials have probably already heard that the FDA is banning the sale of triclosan starting in September of this year.

Triclosan (Sarna, CareOne, Lexol, etc) is a member of the phenol family that has been abundantly used in hand soaps, antiseptic washes, and hand sanitizers for years.

Recently, the FDA decided that while the compound does not seem to pose any significant health risk when used as directed, it does not meet the standards to be GRAE, or Generally Regarded As Effective.

Since GRAS/GRAE ratings are tied together in any consumer-purchased products, any products containing triclosan will be yanked from shelves this fall.

Don't let your customers panic and think the're being poisoned, lol. It's not being pulled because it's dangerous, it's being pulled because they frankly don't see it having any positive effects. Casual use (especially incorrect use) can lead to microbial resistance, so the decision was made to just remove the temptation.

Be aware, benzalkonium chloride (used often in wipes and towelettes) will be coming under the gun within the next 1-3 years as well for the same reasons.
 

Mike Krall

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Apr 24, 2013
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#2
Wasn't there a case were bacteria actually grew within soap containing that chemical?

I've always steered my customers away from that stuff from the beginning. Most people don't even wash their hands long enough for it to be effective. "What do you mean I have to use warm water and get my hands wet for for than a micro second?"
 

LookNGood

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Mar 17, 2014
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#3
Wasn't there a case were bacteria actually grew within soap containing that chemical?

I've always steered my customers away from that stuff from the beginning. Most people don't even wash their hands long enough for it to be effective. "What do you mean I have to use warm water and get my hands wet for for than a micro second?"
I'm sure there was. In high school we grew several different bacterial cultures in several different hand soaps
 

Mama Fen

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#4
Yes, most "customer-oriented" triclosan products only contain about .1 to .3% active ingredient, to keep them from being toxic or poisonous in case of accidental ingestion (read: little kid thinks it's juice and chugs it).

So it's such a small dose, it doesn't really have the contact time needed to actually kill anything.

Plus, exposure to air breaks triclosan down rapidly, so leaving a bar of antimicrobial soap out in the shower means the triclosan stopped working right around day 2.