Triclosan is found as a preservative and anti-bacterial ingredient in many products such as: cosmetics, natural health products, non-prescription drugs, and household cleaning products such as dish detergents.  Triclosan is not considered to pose any human health risks at current levels as Health Canada restricts and regulates its use already.  However, the concern is the amount of triclosan being washed down drains and ending up in the aquatic environment.  While there has been an 80% reduction in the use of triclosan between 2011 and 2016 already, (due to companies moving away from its use in their products), Environment and Climate Change Canada is concerned with the effect of triclosan on aquatic health.

Under the Chemicals Management Plan, triclosan was found to be in need of assessment under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) due to its toxicity to fish and invertebrates.  Monitoring of various Canadian water bodies has been going on since 2002.  Only 1 Canadian water body since 2012 had displayed above acceptable levels of triclosan in its surface waters.  The purpose of the proposed Pollution Prevention Planning Notice (P2 Notice) is to enforce an overall reduction of triclosan release from products manufactured/imported in Canada by 30% from 2011 levels.  The P2 Notice would be applicable to importers and manufacturers of triclosan containing cosmetics, natural health products, drugs or cleaning products, and to those who use, purchase or acquire 100 kg or more of triclosan.  The Canadian Government has also proposed to add triclosan to the List of Toxic Substances in Schedule 1 of CEPA.  A stakeholder engagement session is aimed to be held on January 16, 2018.

Following a study conducted by the FDA, it was determined that using triclosan-containing products such as antiseptic hand soap has not proven to be more effective in preventing illnesses than simply using hands with plain soap and water.  Triclosan therefore has not been generally recognized as safe and effective.  Thus, the FDA has banned the use of Triclosan and 23 other active ingredients in antiseptic products.

For more information, please do not hesitate to contact Focal Point Research Inc.  We are leading Canadian regulatory and FDA consultants for Natural Health ProductsOTC DrugsCosmetics, and other personal care products.