I Spy Triclosan | Food & Water Watch
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June 12th, 2009

I Spy Triclosan

Drug FactsEver since I learned about the dangers of triclosan, Ive started looking, really looking, before I buy. Triclosan is a pesticide that is often used in personal care products like toothpaste, face-wash, hand and dish soap and laundry detergent.  Manufacturers add triclosan to these products in order to make the claim that their product is antibacterial and protects against disease.

But the reality is that triclosan is no more effective than plain soap and water in preventing illness. In 2000, the American Medical Association (AMA) said ‚there is little evidence to support the use of antimicrobials in consumer products.” Similarly, in 2005, an FDA panel of experts voted 11 to 1 that antibacterial soaps were no more effective than regular soap and water in fighting infections. So really, the manufacturers of these products are just fear mongering and trying to convince consumers that bacteria are enemy number one.

As a pesticide, triclosan can kill both good and bad bacteria. The good bacteria that live on our skin keep us healthy. So not only does triclosan remove good bacteria, it may allow for the strongest bad bacteria to survive. Research suggests that the overuse of antimicrobial products could lead to antibiotic resistance.

Triclosan has been linked to even more human health effects like endocrine and thyroid disruption. Triclosan also builds up in our bodies over time. Researchers have found triclosan in urine, breast milk and blood samples.

Household ProductsWhy would we continue to use products that are not effective and may in fact be doing more harm than good? I encourage you to start looking at ingredient labels. Really look.  Let us know where you find triclosan lurking in your house!

Use our new triclosan tool to report where you spy triclosan. Well post your entries. Then, send the link to your friends and family too. Maybe you’re ready to take the anti-triclosan pledge!

- Kathy Dolan

3 Comments on I Spy Triclosan

  1. Emily says:

    Like Triclosan, Fluoride and Vermiculite are industrial waste products which are being sold to the public for profit as the preferred method of disposal. Greed knows no limits…shameful!

  2. Prevention starts when we have enough evidence to act. | Food & Water Watch says:

    [...] You may recall the controversy over the chemical Bisphenol A (BPA) from back in 2009. BPA isn’t the only endocrine disruptor to come under scrutiny during the past year. Triclosan, a pesticide, found in thousands of consumer care products, including toothpaste, hand soap and body wash has caught the public’s attention too. For years, Food & Water Watch and Beyond Pesticides have urged the EPA & FDA to ban the non-medical use… [...]

  3. [...] You may recall the controversy over the chemical Bisphenol A (BPA) from back in 2009. BPA isn’t the only endocrine disruptor to come under scrutiny during the past year. Triclosan, a pesticide, found in thousands of consumer care products, including toothpaste, hand soap and body wash has caught the public’s attention too. For years, Food & Water Watch and Beyond Pesticides have urged the EPA & FDA to ban the non-medical u… [...]

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