Triclosan application upheld

An application to consider grounds for reassessing the antibacterial and antifungal agent triclosan has been upheld by a Decision Making Committee, acting on behalf of New Zealand’s Environmental Protection Authority (EPA). “Following an application from the Green Party the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Decision Making Committee considers there is sufficient new information available about triclosan for it to be put forward for reassessment,” says Ray McMillan, Acting General Manager of the EPA’s Hazardous Substances and New Organisms team. “The new information may include details about the risks or benefits of the chemical.” Triclosan, which is approved for use in New Zealand, can be found in a wide range of cosmetics and personal care products, cleaning aids and paints. It’s also used as a preservative, so can be found in plastic, rubber, textile, leather and paper products to stop the growth of bacteria, fungus and mildew and to prevent odours. The EPA has set maximum limits of up to 0.3% in cosmetics, including toothpaste and mouthwashes. Importers and manufacturers are legally required to comply with these limits. Mr McMillan adds: “As grounds have been established, the next stage of the process would be a formal request, which can come from any member of the public, or the EPA Chief Executive, to proceed with a reassessment.” The EPA will now consider whether triclosan should be added to the Chief Executive-initiated re-assessment list, where the severity and extent of its risk factors will be prioritised in the context of the current list of around 30 pesticides and insecticides. Further information is available at: View the application Read more about triclosan

NZ EPA, 11 August 2016 ; ;