Congressman pushes FDA on chemical safety review

11:03 AM, Dec 22, 2010   |    comments
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WASHINGTON -- A Democratic Congressman is pressing federal regulators to complete their long-delayed safety review of an antibacterial chemical found in thousands of hand sanitizers, soaps and other products.

In a letter sent late Tuesday, Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., asked the Food and Drug Administration for an update on its review of triclosan, an antiseptic chemical used in toothpaste and most antibacterial soaps sold in the U.S.

The FDA announced earlier this year it was looking into animal studies suggesting triclosan can disrupt hormone levels. Other studies suggest the chemical can encourage the growth of "superbugs," or antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria.

An agency spokeswoman says the FDA is working to complete its review, and will likely request additional information about triclosan and related chemicals.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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