Lawsuit Asks FDA To Regulate Sperm-Damaging Antimicrobial Soap Chemicals

Thirty years ago, the FDA considered regulating two toxic chemicals that can damage reproductive organs, sperm quality, and hormone production. Rather than do something, the agency instead did nothing. Last week, the National Resources Defense Council sued the agency, asking them to finally finish the job and regulate the chemicals triclosan and triclocarban.

Plaintiffs contend that the FDA violated federal law in its delay over establishing safe conditions of use. More than 30 years ago, the agency first proposed to regulate such products for over-the-counter use, but they remain on the market and are unregulated, the group said.


In 1978, according to the lawsuit, the FDA proposed to ban from interstate commerce both triclosan and triclocarban either six months or two years after publication of its final study, but no action was taken until 1994, when some ingredients were reclassified.

The FDA announced back in April that they would review the chemicals, but that was a promise to Congress, which is about as enforceable as a promise from a Congressman. The suit instead seeks a court order that would force the FDA to finish the work by a specified deadline. In the meantime, the FDA claims that it’s “working diligently” to finish the regulations and maintains that there is no evidence that the chemicals are harmful.

Health group sues FDA over antimicrobial soap [Reuters]