Triclosan is used as an antimicrobial agent in personal care products and cosmetics as well as fabrics and plastics.
How am I exposed?
Triclosan is commonly found in antibacterial soaps and detergents, toothpaste and tooth whitening products, antiperspirants/deodorants, shaving products, creams, and color cosmetics.
Why should I be concerned?
Triclosan is a known endocrine disruptor and disrupts proper thyroid function. There is also evidence that triclosan causes antimicrobial drug-resistant bacteria such as some strands of E. coli and salmonella. Triclosan is also bio-accumulative and has been found in human breast milk and umbilical cord blood of infants.
What can government and business can do?
- Businesses can manufacture products without triclosan by looking for safer alternative chemicals as replacements.
- State and federal governments can pass legislation to require the phasing out of triclosan.
How can I reduce my exposure?
- Avoid products that list “Triclosan” as an ingredient.
- Avoid antibacterial soap products when possible.
- You can also use the Environmental Working Group’s database, Skin Deep®, which will allow you to research the safety of certain personal care and cosmetic products.