The University of Minnesota is out with a study today showing chemicals from hand soap are polluting the Mississippi.
Researchers found four dioxins in sediment samples from Lake Pepin. They say they could only have come from triclosan, a chemical added to hand soap in 1987.
They don't know yet if the dioxins are toxic. According to a release from the university, the Food and Drug Administration is studying the chemical, "which has been linked to disruptions of hormonal function (in animals) and may also play a role in the evolution of bacterial resistance to antibiotics."
Is it toxic to humans? "It is not known to be hazardous to humans," the FDA says, which is a bit of short of saying it's not.
The European Union has moved to ban the substance in any product that comes into contact with food. It's also used in toothpaste and deodorant.