Triclosan, a chemical found in most personal care products because of its antibacterial properties, may very well be damaging our health while we continue using products containing it, oblivious to its effects on our health. Different researches on animals have shown this chemical to disrupt hormone levels. It may also contribute to the growth of germs that resist antibiotics and may cause harm to your immune system.
Triclosan is common in soaps, cosmetics, medicines, facial cleansers, deodorants, exfoliates, acne medicine, and cosmetics, among other personal care products. One study conducted in 2008, tested a representative sample of adults and children in the US, and found the chemical to be presented in 75 of them.
Major reasons to avoid triclosan include:
It Causes Harm To Health
Our exposure to this toxic chemical, which has also been linked with disrupting heart and other muscle contractions, is a cause of concern. Its use in toothpaste helps prevent gingivitis, but its presence in other products provides no additional benefits; rather causing only harm according to the FDA.
A study conducted on mice found that it is a possible cause of cancer and liver fibrosis. Mice were exposed to triclosan for six months, which made them more susceptible to tumors especially, that of the liver. The 6-month exposure of mice is equivalent to a human’s exposure in 18 months.
It Promotes Antibiotic Resistance
Using antibacterial soaps is not preventing you from illness, but rather, it promotes antibiotic resistant bacteria. Having built resistance, it makes the chemical that fights off the strain of bacteria useless and that is what antibacterial soaps are feared to be doing.
It Disrupts Hormones
Different studies in rats and frogs show that triclosan interferes with the level of thyroid hormones. If it is true for humans as well as it can create a host of health problems such as early puberty, infertility, cancer, and obesity.
It Disrupts Photosynthesis
The presence of triclosan in antibacterial soaps and other personal care products is not only harmful for us due to direct contact and absorption in the body, it also causes harm to the environment. The amount of triclosan that gets flushed down the drain get mixed in streams and water disrupting the ability of algae to perform photosynthesis. It also converts into dioxin, which is a cancer causing agent.
Due to the possible harm that triclosan causes, there has been quite an uproar against its usage in common household products. Many consumers are today well aware against its harmful effects, and if you weren’t, you are now. Many personal care companies like Johnson & Johnson have stopped using triclosan in its products, but you should understand that it might be present in other products.
Antibacterial soaps do not provide any more benefit than simple soap and water. Always purchase products after carefully scanning through the ingredients, making sure you are not purchasing a product with triclosan. Limiting its use will help you lower your risk as well as the harm it causes to the environment.