Triclosan is used as an antimicrobial agent in a wide variety of consumer products in Canada. It is often found in personal care and cleaning products – antibacterial soaps, skin cleansers, toothpaste, and general purpose cleaners and detergents are just a few places you can find this chemical.
Unfortunately, it is often washed down drains, where it is extremely harmful to aquatic plants and animals. It has been known to kill off important algae in our waters, as well as to reduce the growth, reproduction, and survival in aquatic organisms.
We have taken steps to address this issue. In December 2016, the government published a proposed Order to add triclosan to the List of Toxic Substances. This enables the government to introduce measures to manage risks from triclosan. The government has proposed to limit the amount of triclosan that ends up in Canadian waters.
How Are We Helping?
Ottawa Riverkeeper was a key player in having triclosan declared a toxic substance in Canada. We are currently urging the government to ban the chemical altogether.
Look out for products like soaps and sanitizers that are advertised as having “antibacterial” properties. You will likely see triclosan on the ingredient list and you can help the river by avoiding it.
Regulating Triclosan in Canada (February 2017)
Is anti-bacterial soap bad for the environment? (November 2015)
How the Federal Government can protect your river (October 2015)
Thank you to the following funders, who support this important work: