Triclosan. Ever heard of it? Me neither, until now that is. Triclosan was originally registered as a pesticide and it has been labeled as a dangerous chemical over the last couple of years. Apparently it’s a very pervasive and popular chemical used in antibacterial soap, deodorant, and toothpaste. Not only that, but it can sometimes be found in clothing, kitchenware, furniture and toys. How do I know that? The FDA website says so. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or FDA:
At this time, FDA does not have evidence that Triclosan added to antibacterial soaps and body washes provides extra health benefits over soap and water. Consumers concerned about using hand and body soaps with Triclosan should wash with regular soap and water.
Ok, so it’s just fluff added to appeal to the customer right? Yes and NO! A recent study conducted by the University of California, Davis, and the University of Colorado found that:
Triclosan impaired the ability of isolated heart muscle cells and skeletal muscle fibers to contract.
In the presence of Triclosan, the normal communication between two proteins that function as calcium channels was impaired, causing skeletal and cardiac muscle failure.
A higher risk for heart attack or heart failure?! Yes, I ran to my bathroom to check if I had anything that contained it. This of course was followed by the ceremony of throwing out my half-filled soap dispenser; there goes my hard earned 3 dollars, oh well. No real benefits and yet it is in our antibacterial soap, shampoo, and toothpaste! Sounds to me like we don’t really need it. Dr. Sarah Janssen, a physician and senior scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council agrees:
Triclosan is what we call a stupid use of a chemical. It doesn’t work, it’s not safe and it is not being regulated.
Ways to get around anti-bacterial soap and toothpaste:
Go All Natural!
Or simply start reading labels. It honestly takes 10 seconds to scan through the ingredients, and now you know at least one ingredient to be on the lookout for!
As for the clothes and other cloth items that contain Triclosan… start knitting.
For other ingredients to avoid check out this article on Wheat and Corn! It’ll boggle your mind to find out about those two heavily used items. Yes, everything nowadays seems to be bad for you but avoiding the bad things may lead you to a healthier, longer life! That should be reason enough to avoid something!
U.S. Food and Drug Administration