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Alderman Call for Ban on Antibacterial Soap Chemical

The ingredient commonly used in anti-bacterial hand-soaps may be harmful to people’s health.

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Alderman Call for Ban on Antibacterial Soap Chemical

Charles Rex Arbogast, AP

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Chicago residents may need to return to traditional soap and water to avoid the common cold.

Alds. Ed Burke (14th) and Will Burns (4th) on Wednesday called for a citywide ban on the sale of triclosan, an active ingredient in many antibacterial soaps.

Laboratory studies suggest triclosan may disrupt hormones, interfere with muscle function and promote the growth of stronger bacteria. In addition, advisory committees for the U.S Food and Drug Administration are unsure whether the chemical is any more beneficial than washing hands with regular hand-soap.

Although its potential harmful effects have been brought up in the past, the FDA has never completed a safety review of the chemical. The FDA is now being urged to conduct a review before sales of products containing triclosan continue.

"Given the serious nature of the health concerns regarding triclosan, we believe that it is prudent to halt the sale of products containing this controversial ingredient in Chicago until questions regarding this ingredient have been satisfactorily resolved," said Burns.

The proposed legislation would prohibit the sale of any product containing triclosan in the City of Chicago.

Violator would face fines ranging from $100 to $300 for the first offense and up to $500 for subsequent offenses.

Triclosan can also be found in consumer products ranging from kitchen cutting boards to deodorant.

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