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Some Things to Know About Antibacterial/Antimicrobial Soaps

Here’s the Soapbox Speech: Many antibacterial/antimicrobial soaps contain a chemical called triclosan, which was created as a surgical scrub for hospitals several decades ago. The safety of triclosan is currently under review by the FDA and the EPA because: Several studies have shown that it may alter or disrupt hormone regulation in the body. Additional… Read more »

Here’s the Soapbox Speech:

  1. Many antibacterial/antimicrobial soaps contain a chemical called triclosan, which was created as a surgical scrub for hospitals several decades ago.
  2. The safety of triclosan is currently under review by the FDA and the EPA because:
    • Several studies have shown that it may alter or disrupt hormone regulation in the body.
    • Additional studies have found that triclosan may disrupt thyroid function.
    • Several more studies have shown that antibacterial agents, like triclosan, contribute to antibiotic resistance.
    • Even more studies have shown that triclosan may accumulate in the food chain, and in the body. One study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found measurable levels of triclosan in 75 percent of Americans over the age of 5.
  3. Substantial evidence points to the fact that triclosan is no more effective than plain old soap and water for fighting bacteria.
  4. Several of the studies that show triclosan-laden soap is more effective were sponsored by soap manufacturers.
  5. Bonus thing to know: Triclosan is also added to some toothpaste! If you want to avoid triclosan, read labels carefully!

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