Skip to main content

Minnesota poised to be 1st state to ban soap chemical triclosan

The chemical in hand soap hurts Minnesota waterways
  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

Minnesota appears likely to become the first state to ban triclosan, a chemical commonly found in hand soaps that scientists say hurts waterways.

The DFL-controlled House and Senate have voted to phase out triclosan in consumer hand soaps and body washes by January 2017. The House gave final approval to the measure Wednesday 110-19, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. It passed unanimously Tuesday in the Senate and now heads to Gov. Dayton, who is expected to sign it.

Triclosan is an endocrine-disrupting compound believed to contribute to antibiotic resistance, and it causes other health and environmental problems, state health officers have said.

Minnesota researchers are concerned that triclosan is washing down drains and ending up on Minnesota's freshwater lake and river bottoms, where it turns toxic.

Scientists in the state examined sediment in eight lakes and rivers used by municipal wastewater treatment plants, and they found triclosan and the toxins it forms have been increasing since the 1960s, when the product was first used in Dial soap.

Triclosan research by scientists has been ongoing. But the latest study by researchers at the University of Minnesota and the Science Museum of Minnesota indicates how pervasive the contaminant has become, the university said in a press release. The full research was published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology.

Last year, Dayton ordered state agencies to stop purchasing soaps and cleaners that contain triclosan.

Triclosan-free products are readily available in many stores, state environmental officers have noted.

Consumer products companies have argued that triclosan has a long track record of being safe. But under some pressure from environmental groups, companies including Proctor and Gamble have agreed to phase out triclosan in its products.

The phase-out aspect of the Minnesota legislation was partly an effort to accommodate Ecolab, which manufactures commercial cleaners and hygiene products, MPR reports. The Minnesota-based company opposed the legislation.

The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce also opposed the ban, noting that the chamber believes specific product bans should be handled at the federal level, MPR notes.

Here's a two-minute overview of U of M researcher:

Next Up

Marcus Foligno

Foligno's OT winner gives Wild fans a happy Hockey Day

A slow start gave way to the Wild's fifth win in the past six games.

snow

Winter weather advisory issued as Saturday snow arrives

Not huge totals expected, but any snow will likely impact travel.

Wilf

Report: Ryan Poles is Vikings' 'top choice' for general manager

Poles was one of two finalists revealed on Friday.

Payton Willis

Willis carries shorthanded Gophers to beat Rutgers

The senior scored a career-high 32 points to end a four-game losing streak.

MARCUS ALEXANDER STEICHEN

Charges: St. Paul man had sexual contact 'multiple times' with 12-year-old girl

Marcus Steichen, 21, is charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Screen Shot 2020-08-14 at 6.45.53 PM

Charges: Mom killed infant son just weeks after getting him back from foster care

The 10-month-old died in her care in Brooklyn Park last April.

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Arrests made following fentanyl bust in St. Cloud

Authorities searched two St. Cloud apartments Friday morning.

potatoes 2

Minnesota's 'frozen potato freeway' closure attracts plenty of comment

It was, let's face it, a very Minnesotan reason for a freeway closure.

Screen Shot 2022-01-21 at 9.07.54 AM

U of M fraternity raises money for chef's knee surgery

The GoFundMe has raised around $1,700 of its $5,000 goal.

unsplash restaurant cashier register COVID face mask - crop

7 restaurant, bar groups sue Minneapolis over dining vaccine mandate

"Minneapolis bars and restaurants are being used as pawns..." the lawsuit said.

Screen Shot 2022-01-22 at 7.47.53 AM

Woman fatally shot in St. Paul's North End neighborhood

It's the fourth homicide so far this year in St. Paul.

Wild

Wild flip the script, dominate Blackhawks

Ryan Hartman scored twice to earn the first game of a back-to-back.

Related

Study finds chemicals from household soaps in Minnesota waters

A case study of Minnesota waters finds wastewater treatment plants are failing to remove chemicals from soaps and other household products. The chemicals are being released into the state's rivers and lakes. Scientists say at least one of them - triclosan - can be harmful to humans if it gets into drinking water.

Minnesota is now home to well over 100 renewable energy companies

The renewable energy sector is one of the fastest-growing industries in Minnesota.

State parks, Glensheen prove a popular Black Friday alternative for families

A free visit to a state park was a popular alternative to post-Thanksgiving shopping