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

Byron Buxton

Buxton's latest injury overshadows SanĂ³'s walk off bomb

The Twins outfielder could miss a month with a fractured left hand.

Jaylen Twyman

Vikings rookie Jaylen Twyman shot in Washington D.C.

The sixth-round pick is expected to make a full recovery

Sylvia Fowles

Napheesa Collier, Sylvia Fowles named to Olympic women's basketball team

The Lynx stars will try to help U.S.A. win their seventh straight gold medal.

Pixabay - gavel court

Man accused of dropping 42-pound cinder block on victim's head found guilty

The victim suffered severe brain trauma and was eventually transferred to a long-term care facility.

Water

Woman, 57, identified as Zumbro River drowning victim

She drowned Friday afternoon in the southeastern Minnesota river.

Go Fund Me - Adam Richard Johnson

Fundraiser to help get 'decent funeral and burial' for man found dismembered

Adam Richard Johnson is described as a beloved father and family member.

FLickr - AL Franken 2016 - Lorie Shaull

Al Franken announces live Minneapolis show as part of 15-city tour

The former senator continues to inch back into the public limelight.

Stock U of M sign

U of M reveals new safety measures following shooting that injured 5

Expect a larger, more prominent law enforcement presence in nearby neighborhoods.

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.

Study suggests link between 3M chemical and cancer

Scientists focused on a chemical found in drinking water in Ohio and West Virginia, but they also say it exists in smaller amounts in Washington County. But a health official in Minnesota cautions that studies so far on perfluorooctanoic acid, of PFOA, have been inconsistent and the latest research doesn't necessarily mean there is an increased risk of cancer here.