Minnesota is the first state to ban triclosan

Lyra Fontaine


Minnesota is the first state to ban the retail sale of products containing triclosan — a common antibacterial ingredient that has resulted in the potentially dangerous buildup of the chemical and its derivatives.

Governor Mark Dayton signed a bill Friday that will begin banning the sale of triclosan starting Jan. 1, 2017. Individual products that have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for consumer use are exempt from the law. 

Triclosan is mostly used in products such as antibacterial soaps, toothpaste and detergents, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

In 2013, a University of Minnesota study found triclosan and other chemical compounds in Minnesota freshwater lakes, raising questions about the potentially harmful effects of triclosan on the environment.

Though triclosan is still being studied by the EPA, CNN reported the chemical compound may contribute to antibacterial resistance and hormonal effects.

The main soaps used by the University of Minnesota are free of triclosan, according to Minnesota Daily reporting from 2013.

"There are a lot better products out there we want people to use," Michael Osterholm, director of the University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, told MPR in February.