Smithsonian reports anti-bacterial triclosan found to ‘impair muscle function’

“Triclosan a chemical used in antibacterial soaps is found to impair muscle function.” reads Smithsonian magazine headline. This is old news to some of us, as indicated by report’s comment section.

Triclosan is an anti-bacterial chemical used in hospitals and consumer products, like hand soaps and sometimes, toothpastes.

Triclosan - Wikipedia
Triclosan – Wikipedia

It’s used in hospitals, in surgical prep for instance, where its use seems perfectly necessary. But, its also contained in common consumer and household products.

Antibacterial hand wipes are my least favorite, as they leave a filmy residue that is hard to wash off.  A commenter reports that children from the school where she cleans rub the antibacterial hand soap off onto the walls, from where it is extremely difficult to remove.

Studies show that basic soap and water are something like 98% effective at removing bacteria and fungus from hands. So, why overuse this chemical? Like antibiotics and MRSA, overuse of triclosan could create a superbug that becomes immune to it. Overtime, the heart muscle could, foreseeably be effected by continual use of triclosan, as well. I sure wouldn’t brush my teeth with it.

Article author, Joseph Stromberg describes triclosan as an endocrine disruptor, capable of penetrating skin and entering the bloodstream.

In recent years, though, research has shed light on a number of problems with employing triclosan so widely. Studies have shown that the chemical can disrupt the endocrine systems of several different animals, binding to receptor sites in the body, which prevents the thyroid hormone from functioning normally. Additionally, triclosan penetrates the skin and enters the bloodstream more easily than previously thought, and has turned up everywhere from aquatic environments to human breast milk in troubling quantities.


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