Triclosan

Triclosan (Trichlorocarbanilide, TCC) is an antibacterial and anti-fungal substance used in soaps and deodorant which has come under new scrutiny by the US Food and Drug Administration for three reasons:

  • Other studies question whether TCC is one of the ingredients that makes bacteria resistant to antibiotics, encouraging the growth of ‘superbugs’.
  • Studies on animals have shown that TCC artificially amplifies sex hormones (estrogen and testosterone), which often leads to breast and prostate cancer. (Animal studies don’t always predict human studies.)
  • Most of these products get washed down the drain and spread through the environment, potentially disrupting aquatic ecosystems.

For some consumer products, TCC provides a legitimate benefit. But for others, the FDA has found no evidence that TCC provides any benefit over plain old soap and water.

  • Bar soap and deodorant
  • Soaps
  • Cosmetics
  • Gels
  • Cleansers
  • Toothpastes
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