Greens win chemical reassessment

People’s homes are one step closer to being free of a potentially harmful chemical with the reassessment of triclosan, the Green Party said today.

Yesterday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that, following an application from the Green Party, triclosan can be put forward for reassessment of how it is used. Triclosan is found in hundreds of household products, including soap and toothpaste.

“This is a great win and the first step in getting this nasty ingredient out of people’s homes,” Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty said today.

“Triclosan is found in everything from toothpaste and antibacterial soap to paint. You can even find it in plastic and paper products. New Zealanders have it in so many products in their house, without even knowing it.

“The Green Party put this application in to the EPA because people should be safe in their homes without having to become scientists and detectives researching chemicals themselves. 

“New evidence has been published both in New Zealand and from the World Health Organisation linking triclosan to antibiotic resistance, the killing of freshwater fish by becoming a dioxin in wastewater, and affecting human hormones.

"This chemical is easily replaced in soaps by other safer products – we challenged Health Basics company to replace it in their soaps and they did.

“It’s great news for New Zealanders that the EPA is going to reassess triclosan in light of this new evidence,” said Ms Delahunty.

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