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Regulators looking at antibacterial in soap

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Triclosan is a widely used antibacterial agent found in soap, toothpaste and a range of other consumer products.The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Thursday it was reviewing the safety of triclosan, a widely used antibacterial agent found in soap, toothpaste and a range of other consumer products.

The agency stressed there are no grounds to recommend any changes in the use of triclosan but said some recent studies merited a closer look. One member of Congress, Massachusetts Democrat Edward Markey, called for strict limits.

"Despite the fact that this chemical is found in everything from soaps to socks, there are many troubling questions about triclosan's effectiveness and potentially harmful effects, especially for children," Markey said in a statement.

"I call upon the federal government to ban the use of triclosan in consumer soaps and hand-washes, products intended for use by children, and products intended to come into contact with food. In addition, I will soon introduce legislation to speed up the government's efforts to evaluate and regulate other substances that may pose similar public health concerns."

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