Saturday, August 18, 2012

Avoiding Triclosan

I was cleaning under my kitchen sink recently and came across a half full refill bottle of antibacterial soap. Looking at the ingredients I noted Triclosan and said to myself "what is triclosan?".  Google led me to some answers. 

Triclosan is an anti-bacterial agent commonly used in soaps, and even other products you might not expect it to be in. One site told me that it's use originated in the  the garden industry as a pesticide.  Let me get this straight. We are using products on a daily basis that contain pesticides? Okay, so this doesn't surprise me.  It just perplexes me that it is purposely added to things I use to keep me healthy and safe, like hand soap. I wonder who saw it being used as a pesticide and then said "I've got it! We'll use it in hand soap, and dish soap, and toothpaste, and cosmetics, first aid products, kitchenwares, and oh! while we're at it, we'll through it in kids toys too!"  It gets better.  Apparently there have been studies that indicate that triclosan can combine with the chlorine in our water to create chloroform. I don't even need to Google chloroform to know that that is not good.  According to triclosan in also showing up in natural waterways and is having negative impacts on aquatic life.

So how does this antibacterial agent affect humans?  It is said to be linked to the following:
  • abnormal endocrine system/thyroid hormone signaling.
  • weakened immune system
  • children exposed to antibacterial products at an early age have an increased chance of developing allergies, asthma, and eczema.
  • uncontrolled cell growth
  • developmental and reproductive toxicity

Apparently this ingredient goes by psuedonyms. tells us to watch for it under the following names: Irgassan DP-300, Lexol 300, Ster-Zac, Cloxifenolum, BioFresh, Microban, in addition to Triclosan.
Needless to say, I will not be using that half filled jug of toxic hand soap. I hate wasting, but in cases like this, my health, my family's health and the health of our environment is worth far more than this half filled bottle of extremely harmful waste.

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