Skip to main content

What Is Triclosan and Why Is It Harmful to the Human Body?

What Is Triclosan and Why Is It Harmful to the Human Body?

What Is Triclosan

Triclosan (TCS) is an antibacterial chemical which is commonly found in consumer products. It is often listed as an active ingredient in soaps and sanitizers. However, the chemical has also been mentioned as an endocrine disruptor.

The chemical structure of TCS is similar to that of thyroid hormones. The compound is also classified as a pesticide and is used in agriculture to kill microbes. The FDA has banned triclosan from many consumer products, including mouthwash, surgical soap, and skin cream. But it is still being used in a number of other applications.

The question of whether triclosan is harmful to the human body is an important one. Studies have shown that triclosan can be absorbed into the human system through the skin. The compound also has an affinity for the thyroid hormone receptor and may interfere with the regulation of the thyroid, estrogen, and testosterone. It is possible that triclosan has a negative effect on the immune system and reproductive function, which can result in infertility and advanced puberty.

TCS has been found in human blood and urine, and it can be absorbed through the skin of animals. A study conducted in 2000 showed that TCS penetrated more quickly through the skin of rats than through the skin of humans.

There are a number of sources for triclosan, including treated wastewater, water from rivers and lakes, and soils. Approximately 75 percent of the U.S. population is likely exposed to the compound through consumer products, according to a report by the CDC. In response to the concerns, the NRDC filed a lawsuit against the FDA. In November 2013, the agency agreed to a long-awaited rule on triclosan.

The CDC and other health authorities are conducting biomonitoring studies to determine the concentration of triclosan in the environment. These tests provide reference values for health officials and physicians. In September 2016, triclosan was banned from the sale of mouthwash, hand sanitizer, and soaps. In addition to affecting the health of individuals, triclosan can negatively impact the environment by degrading into triclosan-methyl. The substance is then found in a variety of human fluids, such as blood, urine, and breast milk. The half-life of triclosan is 21 hours, meaning that it can be detected in urine up to a week after exposure.

As a result, triclosan has been reported in the tissues of fish, turtles, and algae. It has been a concern that triclosan can build up in the human body and cause cancer. A laboratory study of human ovarian cancer cells by Michael Denison and colleagues showed that triclosan causes a decrease in the production of estrogen. This is one of the reasons the FDA has proposed a regulation on triclosan. It is unclear whether the agency will implement this rule.

There is evidence that TCS is metabolized by the cytochrome P450 enzyme. This can reduce its toxicity and thereby its potential to be an endocrine disruptor. Other studies indicate that TCS can be metabolized by a number of other enzymes. Nevertheless, more research is necessary to fully assess its health effects.

Close Menu