Triclosan: Where It’s Found, Why It’s Dangerous and How You Can Avoid It
Antibacterial hand sanitizers and antibacterial soaps seem like they fight germs and prevent illness, but they contain the chemical triclosan that can actually hurt your health!
Have you used antibacterial soap recently?
Antibacterial soap is so common, you probably used it the last time you washed your hands, especially in public restrooms. While there’s nothing wrong with hygiene and washing your hands frequently, next time you see antibacterial products, you may want to think twice!
Antibacterial soaps (and a host of other consumer products) contain triclosan, an antibacterial and antifungal chemical that can actually be dangerous to your health.
Which Products Contain Triclosan?
Manufacturers use triclosan in:
- Antibacterial soaps
- Hand sanitizers
- Acne fighting products
- Athletic clothing
- Cleaning supplies
- Trash bags
Triclosan is used in all kinds of consumer products to kill bacteria, but it is achlorophenol, a type of chemical that may cause cancer in humans!
Dangers of Triclosan
Triclosan has been proven to be dangerous. As a result of recent studies, British chain store, Marks & Spencer, stopped selling all triclosan-containing products, and China no longer sells toothpaste with the chemical.1
Here in the United States, people are just starting to understand the risks of triclosan.
A study at Virginia Tech discovered that products containing triclosan produced either chloroform or other chlorine byproducts when exposed to tap water.2 In fact, triclosan decomposes into chlorine byproducts in as little as one minute when exposed to chlorinated tap water at 100 degrees Fahrenheit.3
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers the triclosan byproduct, chloroform, to be a probable human carcinogen that could cause cancer.4
Another study found that triclosan acts as an endocrine disruptor in North American bullfrogs. In the environment, triclosan reacts with sunlight and forms chlorophenols and dioxin that act as endocrine disruptors. Researchers think that the dioxins and chlorophenols from triclosan mimic thyroid hormone and blocks the metabolism of it, keeping normal hormones from being used.
Protect Yourself From Triclosan
The best way to avoid triclosan is to stop using those products that contain it. Manufacturers are required to disclose if they use it, so check labels to see if triclosan is present.
Instead of conventional antibacterial soaps and cleaners, try products that clean with natural ingredients like tea tree oil.
Be sure to read more about the benefits of tea tree oil in The Tea Tree Skin ‘Miracle.’
Tea Tree Oil is a natural antiseptic that has been used for centuries to heal wounds, disinfect, and treat acne.
By being a conscious consumer, you can avoid dangerous chemicals like triclosan and send the message to manufacturers that product safety is important to you. Don’t let someone else determine your health! Take charge of what you put in and on your body, and you will enhance your own health and the health of the environment.
- Gutierrez, David, “Antibacterial soap ingredient triclosan may be harmful to humans,” 15 Mar 2007, NewsTarget.com.
- McGhee, Angela, “Triclosan,” Health-Report.co.uk. http://www.health-report.co.uk/triclosan.html