One of the ingredients frequently found in antibacterial soaps and other personal care items is Triclosan, as it is effective in reducing and controlling bacterial contamination on hands and on treated products. A 2001 study published in the American Journal of Infection Control found triclosan (or triclocarban, which is very similar and also used as an antibacterial in cosmetics) in 76 percent of liquid soaps and 29 percent of bar soaps on the market.
Triclosan is restricted for use in Canada and Japan, and the European Union labels it "Irritating to eyes and skin; Dangerous for the environment; Very toxic to aquatic organisms." Even the FDA showed concern about the use of triclosan in products that are not immediately washed off the skin in a September 2007 letter to Proctor and Gamble.
Researchers warn that triclosan, a chemical used as an antimicrobial and preservative, acts as an endocrine disruptor.
- early puberty
- serious reproductive issues
- breast cancer
Because cosmetics companies can use ingredients that cause harm and/or have never been tested, retailers can sell products that contain these risky ingredients - and it is all legal, according to the U.S. government.
Wash your hands frequently with triclosan-free soap and warm water.
Ask stores to stop selling products that contain triclosan. Read labels carefully!
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