Triclosan, an ingredient used to stop the spread of bacteria, initially was used as a surgical scrub and was registered as a pesticide in 1969. When the huge anti-bacterial kick started over the past two decades, triclosan spread into countless products like dishwashing soap, toothpaste, mouthwash, cosmetics, body wash, deodorant, shaving gel, children’s toys, kitchenware like cutting boards, socks, shoes, mouse pads and computer keyboards, – and 75 percent of all liquid hand soaps. (If you’re wondering if your own products contain triclosan, take a peek at the lists of ingredients.)
Last year, triclosan came by the Congressional Food and Water Watch and U.S Food and Drug Administration. (Because it’s used in so many different products, triclosan is regulated by the FDA, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Consumer Product Safety Commission.)
Triclosan drew criticism because of scientific studies showing it:
- Disrupts the endocrine system in animals. According to the EPA, they’re investigating triclosan’s estrogen-related effects, as well as its effect on thyroid hormones.
- May create antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
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