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Minnesota will ban Ingredient used in Antibacterial Soap

Update Date: May 22, 2014 11:22 AM EDT

Triclosan is a common ingredient found in antibacterial items, such as soap, body washes, toothpastes and cosmetics. Even though the ingredient has been around for a while, recent studies have started to question the effectiveness of triclosan. In Minnesota, lawmakers have taken matters into their own hands and decided to ban the ingredient within the state.

"In order to prevent the spread of infectious disease and avoidable infections and to promote best practices in sanitation, no person shall offer for retail sale in Minnesota any cleaning product that contains triclosan and is used by consumers for sanitizing or hand and body cleansing," the new law stated according to CNN.

Senator John Marty added reported by the San Francisco Gate, "While this is an effort to ban triclosan from one of the 50 states, I think it will have a greater impact than that."

The law will ban products made with triclosan from being sold within the state. Even though the law will prohibit the sale of these items, products containing the ingredient that have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will still be allowed.

The effects of triclosan on the body are unclear. Some studies have suggested that the overuse of products with triclosan has contributed to the development of antibiotic resistance strains. The FDA has reported that triclosan could have negative effects on people's health as well. Animal studies have tied long-term exposure to a reduction in thyroid hormones. Even though human studies would yield better and more definitive results, they are harder to carry out.

"Millions of Americans use antibacterial hand soap and body wash products," the FDA had stated previously. "Although consumers generally view these products as effective tools to help prevent the spread of germs, there is currently no evidence that they are any more effective at preventing illness than washing with plain soap and water."

The law, which was signed by Governor Mark Dayton, will go into effect on January 1, 2017.

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