Triclosan is a chemical compound that has been widely used as an antimicrobial agent in many consumer products, such as soaps, toothpaste, and body washes. It works by preventing the growth and spread of bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms.
Despite its widespread use, triclosan has been considered unsafe by some regulatory bodies due to its potential to contribute to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, as well as its potential to disrupt the endocrine system and affect hormone levels in humans and animals. In addition, it has been found to be toxic to aquatic life and can persist in the environment, contributing to the development of antibiotic resistance in bacteria in the natural world.
In response to these concerns, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has banned the use of triclosan and several other antimicrobial agents in over-the-counter consumer products, effective September 2017. However, triclosan is still used in some medical and dental products, such as surgical hand scrubs and toothpaste.
Triclosan is commonly found in a wide range of consumer products that are designed to kill or inhibit the growth of bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms. Some examples of products that may contain triclosan include:
- Antibacterial soaps and hand sanitizers
- Toothpaste and mouthwash
- Deodorants and antiperspirants
- Shaving cream and after-shave lotion
- Feminine hygiene products
- Foot powders and sprays
- Body washes and lotions
- Kitchenware, such as cutting boards and utensils
- Clothing and bedding, such as socks and sheets
It’s important to note that while triclosan was once commonly used in these types of products, its use has been restricted or banned in many countries due to concerns about its potential risks to human health and the environment.