Triclosan Is A Toxin And Is Everywhere
Triclosan is a toxin, as well as it's relative triclocarbon and they are everywhere.
- Top 10 aquatic pollutants in the United States
- In 58% of USA streams in one study
- 75% of the USA population has triclosan in measurable amounts in their urine
- In over 2000 consumer products.
Why Should We Care
It is the consensus of more than 200 scientists and medical professionals that triclosan and triclocarbon, which are in thousands of personal care products, consumer products and building products are persistent endocrine disruptors that bioaccumulate in and are toxic to aquatic life and other organisms. The structures of these two toxins look similar to dioxins, and triclosan has been labeled a precursor of dioxins by the EPA. They also have been associated with a variety of health effects listed below. Additionally, according to Dr. Rolf Halden, a professor at Arizona State University, these chemicals we have been adding to many soaps, toothpastes, body washes and sprays, conditioners, deoderants, hand creams, mud masks, shampoos, shaving products, and wound treaments are washed down the drain and they are not removed by the waste treatment plants, and even worse, they may persist in water sediment for decades. In the interview linked above, Dr. Halden said when tricosan is mixed in our water with residual chlorine from the water, and sunlight it can transform into even more highly chorinated chemicals that includes polychlorinated carcinogenic dioxins, and when it goes through the processing, and disinfection of our drinking water, it can be transformed into formaldehyde. This should give anyone using a product on their body with triclosan or triclocarbon pause for thought. It should give all of us pause for thought since we all drink water being contaminated with this product.
The FDA Bans Triclosan In Some Products
This toxin was banned by the FDA from healthcare antiseptics in 2017, and from hand sanitizers in 2019, but it is still found in many other products. It is thanks to Dr. Rolf Halden's work and lawsuit that the FDA took it out of the products they regulate. You will still find it in many products.
For a list of all the places and products that contain triclosan visit the Environmental Working Groups Website, Where Is Triclosan Still Approved For Use? Triclosan is in many as well as on many household products commonly found throughout your home. The only reason you don't see it in toothpaste any more is due to us consumers refusing to purchase the toothpaste with triclosan.
Although used as an antiseptic in many products, A study found the surgical soaps containing triclosan were no better at sanitizing the skin than those soaps without triclosan.
Found in Drinking Water
The estimated acceptable daily intake level is thought to be 0.17 nml/kg/day. However, it has been found in drinking water at levels above this level. We all need to be filtering it out of our water.
Triclosan And/Or Triclocarban Has Been Associated With These Health Effects
- Microbiome Disruption https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29030459/ was shown in a human study researching toothpaste containing triclosan.
- Intestinal inflammation: Normal daily exposure levels have been shown to worsen colon inflammation.
- Hormone disruption: Past animal studies have found triclosan disrupts hormone activity including estrogen, androgen and thyroid disruption.
- Osteoporosis : A new study shows women with the highest levels of triclosan in their urine have significantly lower bone mass density and higher osteoporosis, especially menopausal women.
- Rash: When triclosan is used on the skin and the skin is exposed to the sun, a rash may occur from photosensitivity.
- Type 2 Diabetes:A study found women with increased exposure to triclocarbon had increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Human epidemiology and animal studies suggest triclosan exposure can increase sensitivity to allergens.
- Overuse of triclosan may contribute to antibiotic/antimicrobial resistance
How To Protect Yourself
Berkey carbon water filters remove 99.5% of triclosan. Water is something we consume in large quantities every day. Make sure yours is as toxin free. Water needs to support our health rather than degrading it.
Read ingredient labels
Read the ingredients on the labels of products and I suggest besides avoiding triclosan and triclocarbon, you don't buy any product that contains a chemical that you can't identify and know is safe.
Remove triclosan/triclocarbon from products
Ask companies to use a substitute perservative/antiseptic. Where antimicrobials are necessary, use safer alternatives that are not persistent and pose no risk to humans or ecosystems.
Tell Your Government Representatives To Remove Triclosan/Triclocarbon From the Market
We need to tell our representative that we want all products containing triclosan, triclocarban and other antimicrobials to be labeled, even if no health claims are made.
Decrease Your Dependance On Pre-made Products
Ask yourself if you need the product you are purchasing? Many people are using cleaning products that are not really necessary. For instance, I mostly use water to clean with. When I need to use something stronger in my home, I usually use soap, or a product I make, or buy containing essential oils, or alchohol or hydrogen peroxide depending on the circumstance. As far as body products, mostly we just need old fashioned soap and water, and much of what people use is not necessary. You can find some good advice on shampoos at Gimme the Good Stuff.
Watch Out For Replacements
Dr. Halden warns us that we are replacing the chlorines with another group of halogens called fluorines. Both the polychlorinated compounds and the polyfluorinated compounds are problematic, so don't get deceived. Additionally, watch out for polybrominated compounds. These are all hologens and all potential endocrine disruptors. Be aware of breathable clothing, waterproof coats, wrinkle-free clothing, and sports shoes as they often contain polyfluorinated compounds.
Summing It All Up
Dr. Halden asks the question, "Is the convenience of having nongreasy popcorn bags and a wrinkle-free shirt worth the long-term contamination of the biosphere for centuries, or even millennia?”
Update August 2022
Triclosan is still an issue. How is it that it was banned from soap as it was too toxic to have in soap, but it is still legal to have in facial products. Although some companies have removed it due to public pressure, there are sill old formulations sold by some companies or you can find it in products imported from out of the country. If a product says antibacterial, take a close look at it (I don't use antibacterial products period usually and if I do they are essential oils). For lists of products containing Triclosan, check out "Products Containing Triclosan".
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