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Minn. to stop buying products with triclosan

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Gov. Dayton has signed an executive order that moves Minnesota state agencies from buying hand soaps and other cleaning products that contain the chemical triclosan.

The state Pollution Control Agency says state agencies will have to stop buying products that contain triclosan by June 30.

A recent University of Minnesota study found increasing levels of the chemical in lake sediment across the state.  

Cathy Moeger, sustainability manager for the MPCA, said she hopes the action will persuade businesses and others to take a closer look at products they buy. 

"It's important for state agencies to lead the way in showing that there are alternative ways of purchasing that allow both environmental benefits -- and in some cases economic benefits -- to us. And I hope others follow suit."

Moeger says buying soaps without triclosan will not cost the state any additional money. 

She says it's not the first time the state has decided to use products that are more environmentally friendly. For example, the state already buys recyclable, refillable printer toner cartridges and copy machines with Energy Star ratings.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the federal Environmental Protection Agency are studying the effects of triclosan on health and the environment.

Triclosan is added to everything from cosmetics to toothpaste to dishwashing soap.