Avon announced this week that it will begin to phase out triclosan from their roster of products. The antimicrobial agent can be fond in many health and beauty products, and has been found as a known endocrine disrupter. Thanks to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, Avon has adopted a safe chemicals policy, making their products safer for their clientele.
Triclosan was first used in the medical industry as a surgical scrub, but was soon added to consumer products like antibacterial soaps, detergents, deodorants, toothpastes and cosmetics. The chemical is used to kill bacteria and fungus and to eliminate odors. However, triclosan has also been found to cause endocrine disruption, impacting the thyroid by decreasing hormones, as well as building up in fatty tissues inside the body. In severe cases it has caused organ system toxicity, and in mild cases irritation and allergies. Triclosan is especially worrisome for pregnant women and breast feeding mothers.
Triclosan is already restricted in cosmetics in Canada and Japan, and now Avon’s pledge to phase it out will only encourage the United States to follow suit. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics teamed up with Green Century Fund to file a shareholder proposal that advocated for Avon to require a safe chemicals policy for their hundreds of products. The victory is attributed to the safe cosmetics advocates around the country who sent in their support, proving that every voice counts!