P&G to eliminate triclosan, diethyl phthalate from products

CINCINNATI — Procter & Gamble is working to eliminate two chemicals — triclosan and diethyl phthalate — from its products by 2014, the manufacturer has stated on its website.

According to P&G, triclosan is an antimicrobal ingredient that slows or stops the growth of germs, such as bacteria and mildew. P&G stated that it only uses triclosan in antibacterial dish soap, professional hand soap and a few personal care products.

“Although triclosan is known to be safe through numerous studies and regulatory reviews, there are ongoing discussions about how effective it is for reducing bacteria compared to regular soap. Due to our limited use of the ingredient, we have decided to eliminate triclosan from our products by 2014,” P&G stated.

The second ingredient to be phased out is phthalates. P&G stated that it “70% of the way there and will be finished by 2014.”

Phthalates are a diverse group of materials that make plastics more flexible and are used in a wide variety of products — from building materials, to medical devices, to sporting equipment. P&G stated that it only uses one phthalate, diethyl phthalate (DEP), in its formulated products. It is present only at very low levels as a component in some of its products’ fragrances.

“DEP has been thoroughly studied and found to be safe. But we understand that DEP can get mistakenly linked to other phthalates in the public discussion because of its name. So we have been working for several years to eliminate DEP from the fragrances used in our products,” P&G stated.

The national coalition The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics commended P&G for the move and urged other large manufacturers who have not taken such steps to follow suit.