EPA has announced a 60-day extension period for public comments on triclosan, an antimicrobial substance used in pesticide products, hand sanitizers, toothpaste, and other consumer products. Responding to an extension request by the consumer watchdogs Beyond Pesticides and Food & Water Watch, EPA now requests comments by April 8, 2011.

Claiming that the “pervasive and widespread use” of triclosan poses significant risks to human health and the environment, the watchdog groups have petitioned EPA to “cancel and suspend the registration of pesticides containing triclosan” under several federal statutes. The petitioners also claim that EPA “failed to address the impacts posed by triclosan’s degradation products on human health and the environment, failed to conduct separate assessments for triclosan residues in contaminated drinking water and food, and is complacent in seriously addressing concerns related to antibacterial resistance and endocrine disruption.” See Federal Register, February 2, 2011.