Last updated on August 20th, 2022 at 11:00 pm
I sat in on a video Q & A session with Environmental Working Group Scientist Rebecca Sutton about a study the EWG released Thursday regarding Triclosan. Triclosan, as the EWG defines it as “an antibacterial chemical found in many consumer products”. Triclosan is often listed as an active ingredient in many household items… and is in some other household things you might not think of. It can be found not only in antibacterial soaps but also in toothpaste, toothbrushes, towels, mattresses, sponges, shower curtains, phones, kitchen ware, food containers, shoes, flooring and carpet, cutting boards, clothing and fabric (think work out gear), and toys to name a few. Anything that touts antibacterial or germ resistant is a possible source.
Should You Be Concerned About Triclosan?
The EWG says Triclosan is linked to liver and inhalation toxicity. It also may disrupt thyroid function. Wastewater treatment does not remove all of it, it is ending up in our water sources. Harming fish and aquatic life. Triclosan is turning up in breast milk and could potentially present toxicity to fetal and childhood development.
Further, studies show that using an antibacterial chemical does not provide any more protection than plain old soap and water. It’s more of a marketing gimmick than anything.
EWG’s Enviroblog offers tips to avoid it:
- Wash hands frequently and thoroughly with plain soap.
- Wash surfaces that contact food (e.g., utensils, cutting boards, countertops) with a regular (not “antibacterial”) detergent and warm water.
- Wash hands and toys regularly. Again, simple soap and good old-fashioned scrubbing will suffice.
This isn’t news to us here at SafeMama. We have always been on the anti-antibacterial warpath in one way or another, whether it be “sanitizing” toys or going overboard with hand sanitizer.
In 2016 Triclosan, along with several other chemicals, has been banned from liquid hand soaps.
Hopefully, it will soon be banned from all of the currently used items.