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Ask Your Local Retailers to Stop Selling Triclosan Products

(Beyond Pesticides, May 26, 2010) Beyond Pesticides has drafted sample text (see below), and we need your help to deliver a letter to your local supermarket, cosmetics store or co-op asking them to stop selling products that contain triclosan. Hundreds of products containing the antibacterial chemical triclosan decorate the shelves of retail stores across the country. From hand soap and toothpastes, to toys and yoga mats, triclosan is everywhere. Product labels will read “triclosan,” “triclocarban” (a related compound found in bar soaps) or “Microban” (a formulation of triclosan used in plastics and fabrics). It is time to take action and demand that this endocrine disrupting chemical is removed from the products we use and love. When consumers demand more for their health and well-being, retailers and manufacturers of triclosan products must listen.

Triclosan, which has a similar chemical structure as dioxin, is linked to various health and environmental problems. It is associated with skin irritation, has been shown to interfere with the body’s hormones, and has been linked to an increased risk of developing respiratory illness, or asthma, and cancer, as well as subtle effects on learning ability. Because the chemical goes down the drain, it wreaks havoc with the environment, converting to highly toxic dioxins and contaminating waterways and wildlife. In addition, by killing some, but not all bacteria, widespread triclosan use may lead to bacterial resistance and cross resistance with antibiotics. In addition, the FDA believes that regular soap and water is just as effective.

Take Action

Ask you the places you shop to pledge to stop selling triclosan products. Customize the sample letter below (edit the text to be specific to your community) and take it in to your local retailer customer service manager. Please tell us when you do, including the store name, city and state, so we can follow-up and help keep triclosan out of your neighbor’s homes and the local water supply.

Sample Text

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing to about my family’s concern about the products containing triclosan that are currently sold at your store. Triclosan is an antibacterial pesticide that is associated with many human health problems, as well as environmental contamination. I believe you should stop the sale of these products because:

• Triclosan and its degradates are associated with adverse health effects, such as endocrine disruption, cancer and long-term bioaccumulation,
• Triclosan creates more potent strains of bacteria, increasing antibacterial and antibiotic resistance,
• Triclosan is accumulating in waterways and soil, resulting in hazardous residues in fish and food crops,
• The efficacy of triclosan is no greater than regular soap and water.

As a loyal customer, my family, friends and I would appreciate your company taking a stand to protect public health by discontinuing the sale of triclosan-containing products at your store, and by signing the triclosan-free pledge for retailers, http://www.beyondpesticides.org/antibacterial/triclosan-pledge.htm, to reaffirm your commitment to the well-being of the community you serve.

I look forward to hearing back from you and the opportunity to provide you with additional information. In the meantime, you can learn more about the health and environmental effects of triclosan here, http://www.beyondpesticides.org/antibacterial/triclosan.htm.

Thank you for your urgent attention to this matter.


Want to do more?

• Send a letter to Wal-Mart, drafted by The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, asking the retail giant to take triclsoan off its shelves.
• Encourage your local schools, government agencies, religious institutions and businesses to use their buying power to go triclosan-free. Urge your municipality, institution or company to adopt the model resolution which commits to not procuring or using products containing triclosan.
• You can also take action right now, by signing the individual pledge to not use products containing triclosan. Join the campaign to end the consumer use of this hazardous chemical.


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