BPA and Triclosan
In Senator Markey’s ongoing work to protect consumers from toxic chemicals found in household products that are linked to a host of health problems, in four consecutive Congresses, he introduced legislation to ban the use of bisphenol A (BPA) in food and beverage containers. In March 2012, Rep. Markey was the first member of Congress to ever submit a petition to FDA, requesting that the FDA permanently remove regulatory approval for the use of BPA in infant formula packaging. In July 2013, the FDA formally accepted the petition and changed its regulations to no longer allow the use of bisphenol A (BPA) in infant formula packaging.
Senator Markey also has urged the FDA and the Environmental Protection Agency to close the regulatory gap that allows triclosan, a common antimicrobial ingredient linked to endocrine disruption, to continue to be incorporated into children’s toys, food contact products and soap. Markey raised questions about both the efficacy of this chemical, particularly in hand soaps, and the long term safety of continued exposure to triclosan. As part of this oversight he wrote to thirteen major companies asking them to remove triclosan from consumer soaps, toys and products that come into contact with food. The FDA recently issued a proposed rule to require manufacturers of antibacterial hand soaps and body washes to demonstrate that these products are safe for long-term daily use and more effective than plain soap and water in preventing illness.
While serving in the House of Representatives, Markey co-authored legislation to give the Food and Drug Administration authority to ensure that personal care products, including products intended for infants, are free of harmful ingredients and that all ingredients that are used are fully disclosed to consumers.