Frequent Questions

What are the health effects of triclosan?

"Triclosan is an antimicrobial active ingredient contained in a variety of products where it acts to slow or stop the growth of bacteria, fungi, and mildew. There are currently 20 antimicrobial registrations, which EPA regulates under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).

There are also consumer uses of triclosan, such as its use in over-the-counter drugs (e.g., antimicrobial hand soaps and some toothpaste). These drugs are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA)."

If you have questions about EPA's pesticide registration of triclosan, you can use the pesticides Web form to Contact the Office of Pesticide Programs

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has the following information on its Web page: Triclosan: What Consumers Should Know

  • Triclosan is not known to be hazardous to humans.
  • FDA does not have sufficient safety evidence to recommend changing consumer use of products that contain triclosan at this time.
  • In light of questions raised by recent animal studies of triclosan, FDA is reviewing all of the available evidence on this ingredient's safety in consumer products. 
  • At this time, FDA does not have evidence that triclosan added to antibacterial soaps and body washes provides extra health benefits over soap and water. Consumers concerned about using hand and body soaps with triclosan should wash with regular soap and water.
  • Consumers can check product labels to find out whether products contain triclosan.

For more information, you may contact the FDA.

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