Posts Tagged ‘triclosan’

Have you ever heard of the word triclosan? It is a relatively new ingredient that is added to many different products to either prevent or reduce the development of bacteria. It can be found in antibacterial soaps, body washes, toothpaste and cosmetics.

It can be added to clothing, furniture, kitchenware and toys. Triclosan can show up in any products that are regulated by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The Safety of Triclosan:

Many people wonder about the safety of this modern ingredient. At the present time it has not been shown through studies to pose any threat to the lives of human beings. However since the FDA last reviewed triclosan a few years back several scientific studies have come out that point to the fact that this ingredient deserves further review.

Studies performed on animals have discovered that it alters the regulation of hormones. The data on these studies however is not proof that it affects humans in the same manner. The FDA is involved in an ongoing review of the effects of triclosan. At the present time there is not enough concrete evidence to limit or change its use in many common everyday products.

When it comes to some products there is evidence to show that triclosan does offer a benefit to consumers. For example in 1997 the FDA reviewed data on the ingredient as it pertained to Colgate Total toothpaste. The evidence did clearly show that triclosan was effective in preventing a disease of the gums known as gingivitis.

On the other hand when it comes to other types of consumer products the FDA has not yet found any evidence to prove that triclosan offers any benefits to health. There is also no evidence to suggest that when triclosan is included in antibacterial soaps and body washes that it offers any benefits over washing with regular soap and water.

It cannot be emphasized enough that tests are ongoing but at the present time triclosan has not been deemed an ingredient that threatens the health and safety of people.

What Consumers Should Know:

It is important that you read labels on the products that you buy and that you become familiar with the types of ingredients listed. There are some things all consumers should know before they purchase products that contain triclosan.

The first piece of information worth knowing is that triclosan is not known to be dangerous to people. You also must know that the FDA does not have enough safety evidence to alter the use of triclosan in many commercial products. Once all of the findings are in the FDA will communicate what it has discovered to the general public.

Body washes, as well as antibacterial soaps and toothpastes are considered to be over-the-counter drugs. If these products contain triclosan then by law it must be listed as an ingredient on the label in the area known as the drug facts box. If a cosmetic product contains this substance then it will be added to the ingredient list on the product label.


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