Salon today posted a new article describing the dangers of triclosan, which is contained in ‘anti-bacterial’ soaps and a range of other products, including toothpaste, lipstick, shoes and cutting boards.
The article, originally published in Scientific America, is important because it states in no uncertain terms that triclosan is not safe.
In animal studies it has been shown to interfere with the regulation of thyroid hormones (affecting metabolism and brain development), testosterone synthesis (decreasing sperm counts) and estrogen action (causing early onset of puberty). Exposure to triclosan has been shown to weaken heart muscle, impairing contractions and reducing heart function, and to weaken skeletal muscle, reducing grip strength. In aquatic environments fish exposed to triclosan were unable to swim properly.
Higher urinary levels of triclosan are associated with hay fever, allergies to airborne triggers (like ragweed and cats) and food (peanut, shrimp, dairy) allergies. Triclosan has even been associated with elevated body mass index in adults. Although the mechanism driving this association is not clear, researchers suggest that it could be due to changes in the gut flora or hormones.
It’s also important because the FDA has been pondering a triclosan ban since 1978. So if you want to eliminate exposure, then you need to take it into your own hands.