Statement of Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter
Washington, D.C.—“Johnson & Johnson’s announcement of its plans to phase triclosan out of its consumer products is a major step towards protecting the public and the environment from this risky, often unnecessary chemical. The company has done the smart thing in modifying its product offering to respond to concerns over the chemical, and the step is a victory in the fight against triclosan. But the Food & Drug Administration still needs to address the use of triclosan in non-medical settings, because until they ban the chemical, consumers and the environment will still be at risk.
“Originally developed for medical settings, but increasingly found in a range of consumer products such as soap, cosmetics, school supplies and athletic equipment, triclosan is a known endocrine disrupter that has also been linked to antibiotic resistance. Scientists estimate that triclosan has accumulated in the bodies of up to 75 percent of the U.S. population. The chemical also accumulates in the environment, contaminating surface and ground water. Because triclosan also survives the wastewater treatment process, it persists in sludge that is often dumped on agricultural crops.
“Johnson and Johnson’s decision to discontinue this harmful chemical is a major step, but it is not enough. The federal government should step in and ban triclosan from all consumer products.”
Contact: Kate Fried, Food and Water Watch, (202) 683-2500, kfried(at)fwwatch(dot)org.