Triclosan is a commonly used antimicrobial agent that is used in many personal beauty products. While it is banned in Europe, Japan and restricted in Canada, the chemical has been around in the US for more than 40 years lurking in everything from hand soaps, cosmetics, deodorants and toothpastes.
Triclosan has the ability to accumulate in the body in fatty tissues and has been linked to hormone disruption, allergies and other endocrine disorders. It is also responsible for creating bacteria resistant to antibiotics.
A study conducted in 2009 found that triclosan decreased thyroid hormone concentrations and enhanced the expression of androgen and estrogen sensitive genes.
A further study in 2000, found that many bacterias were resistant to triclosan, creating controversy on its believed anti-bacterial properties. This was followed up by another study in 2010 by the European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety which found that low concentrations of triclosan can “trigger antibiotic resistance in bacteria.”
In a sample study conducted by the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, 75 percent of people tested had triclosan in their urine and three out of five human milk samples also contained the chemical. Levels of triclosan were also found in umbilical cord blood.
After years of consumer pressure the FDA have looked into tricoslan and have found no evidence that triclosan is antibacterial. Despite this evidence, they have failed to issue it’s removal from consumer products.
“New data suggest that the risks associated with long-term, daily use of antibacterial soaps may outweigh the benefits,” states Colleen Rogers, a lead microbiologist at the FDA.
Triclosan also negatively impacts the environment and traces of it, which are highly toxic to aquatic life, have been found in rivers and lakes.
Identifying triclosan is easy, just read the ingredient list on your personal beauty products and anti-bacterial soaps.
If you are looking for anti-bacterial protection try natural essential oils like tea tree, peppermint, eucalyptus, rosemary or lavender.
Apple Cider Vinegar also makes an excellent antibacterial and anti-fungal cleaning product or sanitizer, just dilute in water and add lavender essential oil for a nice smell.