Antibacterial products (including liquid, gel and bar soaps, and body washes) containing triclosan and triclocarban and some other chemicals, have not been shown by their manufacturers to be any more effective than ordinary soaps in the prevention or spreading of illnesses or infections. The FDA advise that ordinary soap and washing products are good enough!
The FDA ruling does not go far enough - it only applies to soaps used with water, but not hand sanitisers or wipes, or the many other uses of these products.
There are many other facts about triclosan which can affect your health and the environment, most of which were not mentioned in the FDA press release, but are far more serious than they make out:
- Research shows triclosan can cause antibiotic resistant bacteria, and reduce the effectiveness of antibiotic medications
- Triclosan is also used as a pesticide in farming, added to clothing, kitchenware, plastics, carpets, furniture and toys
- Your skin is covered with bacteria all the time, with most of them actually being beneficial to you as they can prevent infections by bad bacteria. By killing off these bacteria with antibacterial washes, you can open your skin to infections
- Triclosan gets into the environment and has antibacterial effects on animals, the soil and waterways
- Triclosan can alter the effect that your hormones work in your body. Anything that does this is dangerous for your health
- Triclosan is also found in toothpastes, mouthwashes, hair products and cosmetics
- Triclosan has been known to irritate the skin
- Triclosan impairs muscle function, including being linked to heart disease and heart failure
- Triclosan used can lead to liver problems,and even depression
- And lastly, it is suspected that triclosan can cause cancer - that sunlight can transform triclosan into carcinogenic dioxin.
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