Triclosan, a Chemical Present in Antibacterial Soaps, Linked with Impaired Muscle Function

According to a study, the chemical we know as triclosan impeded muscle activity in individual heart cells of humans, mice, and minnows. Moreover, several chemicals present in antibacterial soaps have been prohibited by the FDA after some tests found that they had no advantage over regular soap and water.

Triclosan- an antibacterial substance developed for the first time in the 60s to avert bacterial infections in hospitals- has since been included into all kinds of products, including soaps, toothpastes, and mouthwashes.

For manufacturers, it is a marketing bonus which boosts the confidence of consumers in the product’s ability to destroy bad bacteria. What’s more, some toys, bedding, and kitchen utensils also contain this chemical. But, it is not as safe as you may think.

Triclosan Is Damaging Our Health

Recently, research has revealed a lot of problems with triclosan use. Namely, studies have concluded that this chemical can destroy the balance in the endocrine systems of several animals. Moreover, it also penetrates the skin and goes into the blood easily and has appeared in all kinds of places, from aquatic environments to human breast milk in large amounts.

According to a recent paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, this chemical worsened the muscle function in animals and humans.

The researchers also discovered that triclosan impedes the human muscle contraction at the cellular level and thus, disables normal muscle function. The lead author Isaac Pessah explains that these conclusions are strong evidence that this chemical is a problem for the environment and for our health.

Even though using animal studies to make assumptions about human health can be quite tricky, the researchers explain that the fact that triclosan produced similar results in varying conditions in different animals is a major cause for concern.

Even though it is not regulated as a drug, this chemical, as the researchers note, had the effect of a powerful cardiac depressant.

Nonetheless, the FDA stated that there is no data to support the claims that antibacterial soaps with triclosan have more advantages that washing your hands with regular soap and water.

Though beneficial in some cases, triclosan being added to all kinds of product is definitely is doing us no good. The findings of this study certainly call for a major reduction in the use of triclosan in the future.

Sources:

ANYA VIEN

SMITHSONIAN MAG

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