Triclosan – The Antibacterial Ingredient You Should Never Use

As the list of chemical-laden products continues to climb, so does the growing body of evidence supporting the reality that those chemicals poison the population day by day. One of these chemicals, triclosan, takes an unavoidable space on the shelves within each drug and grocery store. Sold and purchased under the names Microban and Biofresh, triclosan has a historical track record over thirty years old.

First used in the health care industry as a surgical scrub, triclosan made its debut in 1972. But the 90s brought it into the spotlight as an antimicrobial ingredient in numerous products, including: bar soaps, body washes, detergents, toothpastes, and a great number of other cleansing products that many continue to smear on their skin day after day.



Triclosan’s Track Record

With its debut in in hospitals as a surgical scrub in 1972, triclosan earned a name for itself as a strong and effective antibacterial agent. It also has some anti-fungal and antiviral properties that provide it with an extra kick. After its introduction as a medical tool, triclosan trickled into the general public’s hands, marketed as an ingredient commonly used in numerous cleansing materials. One study completed in 2000 concluded that more than 75% of liquid soaps included triclosan on their ingredients list, while about 30% of bar soaps contained it. This averaged out at about 45% of all soaps bought and sold.

Its uses extended as cosmetic companies incorporated it as a preservative for their products. Deodorants began using it as a biocide, and toothpastes began following suit since triclosan could help control plaque collection on the teeth. Sweden alone documented that about 25% of their toothpastes used triclosan in its ingredients. From there, it appeared in the textile industry as well – in chlorinated form.

Triclosan works through prohibiting bacterial production and synthesizing fatty acids necessary for the bacteria to maintain the cellular materials that make up their form. Despite knowing how triclosan works, many still wonder how it works on us and our world.  More and more studies piled on alongside more and more statistics and arising concerns for triclosan’s far-reaching effects on the human body and even on the surrounding wildlife.


Why Worry?

As the information available grows and becomes more widely available, studies reveal the insidious nature of the chemical triclosan, documenting the negative effects on the body and the surrounding environment. We gave you some details regarding this information so that you will know how triclosan affects you.

One issue that arises from the widespread use of triclosan is that bacteria can develop an immunity to it, and other medicines as a result to exposure with the chemical. This could foster the spread of illness since medications lose their power of keeping bacteria in the body under control.

Triclosan’s potential level of toxicity also creates another problem on the individual level. Some evidence suggests that triclosan can cause the skin to become sensitive to sunlight, leading to eczema. One study discovered traces of triclosan in the breast milk of three of five women tested, suggesting that it absorbs easily into the epidermal tissues and directly into the bloodstream.

Links between allergies and triclosan exist to prove that, in wiping out so much bacteria, the immune system can become more vulnerable. Thus, allergy problems arise from the continuous usage of this chemical.

Of additional concern, triclosan has a relationship with dioxin, a chemical compound with dangerously carcinogenic effects. When added to sunlit water sources, triclosan can convert to dioxin. Thus, proving that triclosan itself is a cancer-causing carcinogen crouching in the shadows. Devastating endocrine disruption, another effect of dioxin in the human body, can lead to miscarriages and birth defects.

Taking a look at the bigger picture causes more questions to arise. The continuous and constant usage of triclosan causes it to find its way into our water. This leads to triclosan infecting our soil as well. Any bacteria that meets up with the chemical stands a chance of mutating or becoming resistant to other forms of treatment. Thus, bioaccumulation may snowball into an even bigger problem in the future.

Triclosan remains active for around twelve hours after being introduced to air. No studies have been performed on whether or not the chlorinated form could morph into a poisonously potent form of dioxin – without the help of water. With the fact that the chemical already absorbs into the skin easily, concern grows for the potential effects. We wear it in our clothes and put it in our mouths, or rub it on our skin. It may even be traced in your water and soil. How can we stay away from this chemical?


Alternative Actions

Minnesota paved the way to rid products of triclosan recently in response to the mounting research claiming that triclosan could allow for the spread of infectious bacterial and viral diseases. This law goes into affect in 2017, and will disallow the sale and production of triclosan in the state. We can hope that other states follow suit, but with as many chemicals already allowed to touch the hides of innocent civilians, we must look for ways to take care of ourselves.

A good way to start avoiding any substance is to start label-reading everything you purchase. Read over the labels to your toothpaste, soap, and detergent to find out whether or not the product contains triclosan. It should always be listed on the ingredients list. Find a product that does not contain this chemical, like all the products available on our web catalogue.

Washing your hands with normal, non-toxic soap has proven to be just as affective as triclosan itself. If you find it difficult to locate soap that does not use triclosan, than plenty of organically botanical alternatives exist. Personally, I like to use coconut oil in place of soap. By rubbing it on the skin in a hot shower, the oil immediately absorbs into the skin. Using coconut oil in this manner also eliminates the need for store-bought lotion, which also contains harmful chemicals. Many other ideas for natural replacements for toothpaste and shampoo also exist.

If you do not want to go completely bare nature in replacing your products with items that do not contain triclosan, then shop with face naturals. We have all-natural, organic products guaranteed to satisfy your need for quality and safety. We carry tooth cleansers, deodorants, lotions, shampoos, soaps, and a variety of other skin care products designed with your needs in mind.

To learn more about harmful chemicals and natural alternatives, check out the other posts on our blog. For information regarding our products and business, contact us! We would love to hear from you. Comment below to discuss the realities of triclosan.



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