Resolution to Ban the Purchase and Further Use of Triclosan and Related Compounds by the University of Minnesota

The Social Concerns Committee of the University Senate proposes that the University of Minnesota support the efforts of the State of Minnesota to protect the welfare of its citizens and the environment by banning the purchase and eliminating the use of TRICLOSAN and related compounds at the University of Minnesota in non-research/non-clinical settings by January 1, 2014.


TRICLOSAN is an antimicrobial ingredient primarily used in hand soaps and cleaning products, but also in toothpastes, fabrics, toys, kitchenware and industrial pesticides.

In humans, TRICLOSAN is readily absorbed into the bloodstream. There is evidence it may be an endocrine-disrupting compound. While not the primary cause of current antibiotic resistance issues, the use of TRICLOSAN could compound antibiotic resistance issues. It may cause other health problems, particularly in children.

In the environment, TRICLOSAN has been found in lakes and rivers that receive water from wastewater treatment plants by both University of Minnesota and US Geological Survey researchers. University of Minnesota researchers have found increasing concentrations of TRICLOSAN in lake sediments and TRICLOSAN degradation produces various forms of dioxins-- compounds with carcinogenic and mutagenic effects also harmful to humans. These dioxins are also increasing in lake sediments and in some lakes the majority of dioxin input is derived from TRICLOSAN.

The Minnesota Department of Health, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and American Medical Association say there is no evidence that TRICLOSAN provides any benefit over washing with regular soap and water, and TRICLOSAN-free alternatives are readily available from many sources.

Concern about the presence of TRICLOSAN and related chemicals prompted Governor Dayton to issue an Executive Order on March 4, 2013, that will ban all state agencies from purchasing hand soaps and dish and laundry cleaning products that contain TRICLOSAN by June 2013. TRICLOSAN has also been included the Minnesota Department of Health's Drinking Water Contaminants of Emerging Concern (CEC) program.

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