Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) called for the Food and Drug Administration to investigate the safety of Triclosan, a chemical found in everything from socks to soap to toothpaste. The European Union has banned the chemical, and according the Environmental Working Group’s Cosmetics Safety Database, Triclosan has been linked to cancer, developmental toxicity, skin irritation, and endocrine disruption. Markey said in a statement, “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 went further: “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.” Rep. Markey has shown a lot of courage in standing up to big chemical companies.

If you want to get ahead of the pack and ditch this dangerous chemical before the government bans it, check out our 5 Easy Green Cleaning Tips that Use Vinegar. If you want to learn about other household chemicals that you might want to avoid, read our article on the connection between Cosmetics and Breast Cancer.