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Bacteria-killer soon to be declared toxic

The federal government is set to declare a bacteria killer found in many toothpastes, mouthwashes and anti-bacterial soaps as toxic to the environment, a move which could see the use of the chemical curtailed sharply.

Health Canada has been probing the effects of triclosan on the body's endocrine sys-tem and whether the antibacterial agent contributes to the development of antibiotic resistance. Environment Canada has been studying the effect of the widely used chemical on the environment.

The government's draft risk assessment is now complete and it says triclosan is toxic to the environment but there's not enough evidence to say it's hazardous to human health. The formal proposal to list the chemical as toxic to the environment will be published Friday.

A toxic designation under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act triggers a process to find ways to curtail a chemical's use, including a possible ban in a range of personal-care products.
 
 

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