People use shampoos, soaps, toothpaste, and other household items on a daily basis but most of them are not aware of the Kids Spot. Triclosan is one of those antimicrobial ingredients, which are found in almost every household item, but very few people know about its existence.
However, recent studies conducted by researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have confirmed that continuous use of this ingredient can bring many negative effects on human health. We are not talking about some mild side effects like skin dryness, but effects that are more serious as the occurrence of liver fibrosis and cancer. These researches were conducted on lab mice but the results are relevant for humans too.
Should Triclosan be Discarded Completely?
According to Ph.D. Robert H, Tukey, and PhD. Bruce D. Hammock triclosan are not dangerous when used moderately. However, it seems that almost all modern household items today include this chemical, and its beneficial properties are replaced with possible dangers to human health. Both professors are directors of NIEHS (National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences) Superfund Programs in the departments of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Pharmacology at the University of California, Davis.
The team led by Tukey and Hammock (including Mei-Fei Yueh, Ph.D.) has concluded that the use of triclosan leads to liver disintegration and failure in some of the most important liver functions in lab mice. Chemical-induced liver tumor risk was increased for few times in mice who were exposed to this chemical over a period of six months. This is a period of time similar to 18 human years. What is even more worrying is that these tumors were mutated and much larger and more frequent than in mice that were not in contact with triclosan.
Although the study did not provide an answer about the direct cause of these negative effects, it was obvious that triclosan is disrupting the work of the constitutive androstane receptor. This protein is one of the key factors in the process of elimination of toxins in the body. This leads to a rapid increase in the number of liver cells and the creation of fibrotic. Continuous use of products, which contain triclosan, can ultimately lead to tumor formation.
What is even more interesting is that triclosan is an antibacterial consumer present almost everywhere. For example, many scientific studies have confirmed the presence of triclosan in breast milk from lactating women (it was present in 97% of the samples). It is also present in the urine of around 75% of people. Finally, this chemical is present in a free form in the environment too – it is the seventh most frequent compound in streams all over the US.
According to Hammock, triclosan should not be completely removed from household items. Its presence should be left only in products where this compound actually brings some real benefits. For example, some liquid hand soaps have high amounts of triclosan but the benefits are almost non-existent. Therefore, triclosan should be removed from these products completely. On the other hand, triclosan in toothpaste brings many benefits for teeth health and yet it comes in small doses.
Triclosan and its effects is being examined in the last few years by the FDA mostly because of these studies and the results which indicate that triclosan can bring some really negative effects on human health.