Triclosan – Antibacterial Soap

Triclosan is an antibacterial and antifungal agent found in numerous consumer products, including soaps, detergents, toys, and surgical cleaning treatments.  Some studies show that antimicrobial hand soaps containing triclosan provide a slightly greater bacterial reduction on the hands compared to plain soap, but other studies show there is no difference.  In fact, the FDA states that antimicrobial soaps containing triclosan have not been shown to possess additional benefits over conventional soap and water.

Triclosan is a chlorinated aromatic compound with antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties (sold under several trade names, including UltraFresh, Amicor, and BioFresh). Triclosan penetrates the skin on contact and enters the bloodstream.  A CDC study found triclosan present in the urine of 75% of the people tested.  Triclosan safety is currently under review by the FDA.

In studies, Triclosan has been proven to cause liver cancer in mice.  It is also associated with a greater risk of hay fever and food allergies.  It is also considered an endocrine disruptor causing lower levels of thyroid hormone and testosterone.  It is toxic to aquatic bacteria, which means it is bad for the environment, as diatom algae is responsible for a large part of the photosynthesis on Earth.

In addition, there are concerns that the overuse of Triclosan could cause resistant strains of bacteria to develop, known as Super Bugs.

The state of Minnesota recently signed a bill legalizing a measure banning triclosan-containing products in the state. The law will go into effect January 1, 2017.  The exceptions to this rule are individual products that have received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for consumer use.  The FDA announced a proposed rule that would require manufacturers of antibacterial hand soap and body wash to prove their products are more effective than plain soap and water in preventing illness and the spread of infection.  If the rule goes into effect, those manufacturers also will be required to prove their products are safe for long-term use.

 

Alternatives

The University of Michigan School of Public Health indicated that plain soaps are just as effective as consumer-grade antibacterial soaps in preventing illness and removing bacteria from the hands.

Thieves Foaming Hand Soap

DIY Probiotic Hand Sanitizer

Clean Well

Benefect Hand Sanitizer

Dr. Bronner’s

Miracle II Moisturizing soap

Ava Anderson Non Toxic

The Honest Company

Hugo Naturals

 

Sources

Wikipedia

CNN

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