Tricky Triclosan

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Triclosan is an antibacterial chemical found in many personal care products. It can be dangerous to both people and the environment because of its harmful qualities. Even though its dangers are known and triclosan-free products work just as well, it is still used often. In fact, a study by the CDC showed 75% of people tested had the chemical triclosan in their bodies. So what exactly is this chemical and how can one avoid it?

Triclosan is a endocrine disrupting chemical meaning it can disrupt our hormones. This is dangerous because hormones control many bodily functions. When they are disrupted mixed chemical messages can lead to diseases later in life. For example, triclosan is linked to liver and inhalation toxicity. Even low levels of exposure to triclosan can disrupt thyroid function. As well as harming people, it can also disrupt the environment by getting into water sources and harming animals as well.

It is often listed as “antibacterial”, “antimicrobial”, and “odor-fighting”. Triclosan can be found in body washes, conditioner, deodorants, soaps, lotion, shampoos, shaving creams, toothpaste, and even the lining of shoes. Imagine how many times you brush your teeth throughout your whole life. If your toothpaste contains triclosan then all those exposures can build up. Luckily, there have been studies which show that by eliminating products with this chemical allows it to quickly leave your body in a matter of days.

To avoid this harmful chemical look for the word triclosan under the active ingredient section on your products label. Also avoid antibacterial soaps as normal soap has been proven to work just as well. By switching out a product as simple as your toothpaste for another that does not contain triclosan could have a great benefit on your health in the long run.

By Sara Frawley