Have you heard of triclosan? Even if youre not familiar with this antibacterial chemical, you may have measureable levels in your body.
Have you heard of triclosan before? Even if you’re not familiar with this antibacterial chemical, you may have measureable levels in your body.
Found in antibacterial soap, some hand sanitizers, toothpastes, mouthwashes, and many other household and body care products, triclosan has come under fire for potentially promoting antibacterial resistance and being toxic to the environment. Plus, according to the Ontario-based Environmental Defence, it is a known hormone disruptor.
A new study by the Environmental Defence studied eight Canadians and found measureable levels of the chemical in seven. Furthermore, the levels their bodies contained were higher than those capable of producing toxic effects in fish and algae.
The group is calling for a triclosan ban for household use. Although there is currently no ban, Health Canada and Environment Canada have recently been investigating the effects of triclosan on the environment.
Avoid triclosan in your everyday life
Not only is triclosan likely harmful, it is also not necessary. Rather than depending on antibacterial ingredients, health experts recommend using proper handwashing techniques with regular soap to reduce the spread of germs. Here’s how to do it:
- Wet your hands with warm water.
- Add regular soap and rub your hands together, ensuring you have lathered all surfaces, for at least 30 seconds.
- Wash the front and back of hands, as well as between fingers and under nails.
- Rinse hands well under warm running water, using a rubbing motion.
- Wipe and dry hands gently with a clean towel.
- Turn tap off with paper towel.
Source: alive article “The Dirty Truth About Clean,” quoting Health Canada
When choosing household and body care ingredients, opt for those without triclosan—natural and organic products are best. A good rule of thumb is that if the product has no ingredient list, leave it on the shelf. And when it doubt, contact the company and ask them directly.