Go figure, in our germophobe nation, many people use antibacterial products. Over the last few years, it’s come to public light that really these products are no better than regular soap and water. If the active ingredient in your antibacterial product is Triclosan, as it is in half of all hand soaps, then you are exposing yourself (and your family) to this toxic chemical.

In a press release, EWG states

“Triclosan has been linked to cancer in lab animals, has been targeted for removal from some stores in Europe for its health and environmental risks, and the American Medical Association recommends against its use in the home. It is also linked to liver and inhalation toxicity, and low levels of triclosan may disrupt the thyroid hormone system. Thyroid hormones are essential to proper growth and development, particularly for brain growth in utero and during infancy.

Triclosan breaks down into very toxic chemicals, including a form of dioxin; methyl triclosan, which is acutely toxic to aquatic life; and chloroform, a carcinogen formed when triclosan mixes with tap water that has been treated with chlorine. Scientists surveyed 85 U.S. rivers and streams, and found traces of triclosan in more than half.”

The EWG published its own study and provides a guide on triclosan and how to avoid it and its cousin triclocarban.

This toxin poses a risk to everyone, but mostly fetuses, infants and young children. It’s found in many everyday products – such as cutting boards, shower curtains, credit cards, baby bibs, counter tops, soap and more. It can be passed by a mother to a fetus and to her infant through her breast milk.

It’s best to just avoid this toxin by reading product labels and using the EWG guide on where to look for and how to avoid it.  

Once again, the FDA is failing to protect us from toxins. Several stores in Europe are looking into banning all products containing triclosan.

I use Dr. Bronner’s soap and love it. I have eczema and it’s mild on my skin. I like the baby mild soap , but there are many other “flavors” including Hemp Eucalyptus, and Hemp Lavender; and they also have liquid versions such as Hemp Almond, Hemp Tea Tree  or Hemp Peppermint.

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6 thoughts on “Antibacterial products contain toxin Triclosan

  1. Baby bibs present some unique challenges: one the one hand we want them to be waterproof ,but on the other we want them to be free of toxic substances found in materials like vinyl, plastic, and gore-tex. Now we have to worry about Triclosan too! Fortunately, function and safety can be combined, but companies have to be willing to do a lot of research and use materials that cost more.

    When I started my company, Baby Chaleco, months of research and travel went in to finding just the right combination of safe, effective fabrics. For parents who want an effective, stylish choice, especially for a bib that needs to be worn all day, I hope you will check out our line of baby-safe bibs, all made in the US. http://www.babychaleco.com/


  2. Carol, thanks for the link! I will definitely check out your selection. I was shocked to learn triclosan is in baby bibs, so its great to know there is a safe alternative!

  3. I am definitely going to quit using anti-bacterial soap. What about bar soap? Is this chemical included in any and all anti-bacterial soap? I have very sensitive skin and it’s hard for me to find soap that won’t break my skin out. I suppose I’ll just have to test some organics until I find one that works. Thanks for the great information. Your blog is incredible.

  4. John, I have been using Dr. Bronners soaps for some time and really like it. Seems much better on my skin — i have eczema. Tricloson is actually found in many crazy places like food containers, shoes, clothes, etc. not just soap. I would steer clear of anything making any anti-microbal/bacteria type claim, or claims such as “keeps food fresh longer.” Those types of claims typically indicate triclosan or similar is present.

    good luck!

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