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Pesticide News Story: EPA Solicits Comments on Petition Regarding Antimicrobial Pesticide Triclosan

For Release: December 8, 2010

EPA is publishing in the Federal Register a petition from Beyond Pesticides and Food and Water Watch requesting a ban on the antimicrobial pesticide triclosan. Comments will be accepted for 60 days.

Triclosan is an antimicrobial active ingredient with uses regulated by both EPA and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Triclosan is contained in a variety of bacteriostats, fungistats, mildewstats, and deodorizer products. There are currently 20 antimicrobial registrations that EPA regulates under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).

Triclosan also has consumer uses regulated by FDA under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), which include over-the-counter products such as antimicrobial hand soaps and toothpaste. The same organizations also filed a petition with FDA. FDA will respond separately to the petitioners on the issues under the purview of their regulatory authority. EPA and FDA intend to collaborate and share information throughout the public comment and petition response process as well as FDA’s ongoing effort to complete a topical antimicrobial over-the-counter (OTC) drug monograph, under which some of these products are regulated.

EPA completed a Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) for triclosan in 2008. The RED estimated the potential for exposure to triclosan from the use of consumer products containing the chemical. The Agency concluded that total exposure to triclosan from all sources does not present risks of concern. However, because of the amount of research being planned and currently in progress, the Agency recently decided to undertake another comprehensive review of triclosan (under the Registration Review Program) beginning in 2013, ten years earlier than originally planned.

EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs routinely publishes petitions on pesticide issues for public comment. Comments on this Federal Register notice will be accepted until February 7, 2011, and may be submitted at www.regulations.gov in Docket ID # EPA-HQ-OPP-2010-0548. The Federal Register notice can be found at http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/pdf/2010-30850.pdf.

Information about EPA’s RED assessment of triclosan can be found at: http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/reregistration/triclosan/triclosan-questions.htm.

Additional information also can be found on the Triclosan Fact sheet available at: http://www.epa.gov/oppsrrd1/reregistration/REDs/factsheets/triclosan_fs.htm.

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