Most anti-bacteria soaps contain the chemical called triclosan. If you don’t know what triclosan is, you should know that it’s the chemical found in many personal and home care products that you use every day.
Triclosan first appeared on the market in 1972. It was originally developed as a pesticide and it was mainly used in health care settings and hospitals because it has antibacterial properties.
Today, triclosan is found in great number of products: hand-washers, soaps, laundry detergents, dish-washing products, toothpaste, deodorants, antiperspirants, shaving creams, cosmetics, products for acne, hair conditioners, socks, plastics, surgical scrubs and pesticides.
Should You Be Concerned About Triclosan?
One study showed that triclosan hinders muscle function in humans and animals. Many other studies have shown that this chemical is hazardous for your health.
- It penetrated into the skin and enters the bloodstream.
- It disrupts the endocrine system. Especially the reproductive hormones.
- It impairs muscle function.
A study published at PNAS shows that common use of triclosan can cause liver tumors.
“Its production levels are quite high, and the levels in humans have been increasing since it was first used as an antibacterial agent in the early ‘70s. So the body levels in humans including plasma, urine and breast milk – have been steadily increasing,” explains Dr. Isaac Pessah, of the Department of Molecular Biosciences at UC Davis, as well as the study’s lead author
“Although triclosan is not regulated as a drug, this compound acts like a potent cardiac depressant in our models.” Chiamvimonvat went on to say “In patients with underlying heart failure, triclosan could have significant effects because it is so widely used,” he added “However, without additional studies, it would be difficult for a physician to distinguish between natural disease progression and an environmental factor such as triclosan,” adds the co-author Nipavan Chiamvimonvat.
In conclusion, there are no benefits of using anti-bacterial soap.
“There is currently no evidence that they are any more effective at preventing illness than washing with plain soap and water. Further, some data suggest that long-term exposure to certain active ingredients used in antibacterial products — for example, triclosan (liquid soaps) and triclocarban (bar soaps) — could pose health risks, such as bacterial resistance or hormonal effects.”- the FDA said in a press release.
How to Avoid Products That Contain Triclosan?
- Read the products’ labels.
- Stop buying products labeled as “built-in antimicrobial protection”.
- Stop buying products that has triclosan or triclocarban on the ingredients label.
- Use organic or homemade cleaning products.