"Although triclosan was first developed to prevent bacterial infections in hospitals, its use has become widespread in antibacterial products used in the home. However, according to the Food and Drug Administration, other than its use in some toothpastes to prevent gingivitis, there is no evidence that triclosan provides other health benefits or that antibacterial soaps and body washes are more effective than regular soap and water. Experts also express concern about the possibility of resistant bacterial strains developing with the overuse of antibacterial products.
Because the chemical structure of triclosan resembles other toxic chemicals that persist in the environment, theFDA and the Environmental Protection Agency are conducting new risk assessments of the chemical. Based on
their study outcomes, the researchers argue that the potential health risks call for greater restrictions.
“We have shown that triclosan potently impairs muscle functions by interfering with signaling between two
proteins that are of fundamental importance to life,” says Pessah. “Regulatory agencies should definitely be
reconsidering whether it should be allowed in consumer products.”
Says Hammock, “Triclosan can be useful in some instances, however it has become a ubiquitous ‘value added’marketing factor that actually could be more harmful than helpful. At the very least, our findings call for a dramatic reduction in its use".
reduction in its use.”