We use soaps every day and we don’t even think twice about it. We use them to maintain our hygiene and protect ourselves from germs and bacteria. However, latest discoveries show that the antibacterial chemicals which manufacturers commonly use in antibacterial soaps could be doing more harm than good.
According to a new study out of South Korea the commonly used antibacterial additive, triclosan, showed cancer-promoting effects both in vitro and in vivo, a discovery which has left many experts shocked!
The study conducted by Kyung-Chul Choi and colleagues from Chungbuk National University and the Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology primarily examined the effects of triclosan on the hormonal system. A known hormone-disruptor, triclosan has been shown in previous research to mimic the feminizing hormone estrogen, which in turn alters the normal production and expression of other hormones like testosterone.
Having this in mind, it’s no wonder that the scientists discovered triclosan to be disrupting the endocrine system’s balance, causing abnormal cellular growths. It has an especially negative influence on women, triggering the growth of breast cancer cells, leading to the formation of malignant tumors. This was demonstrated both in cell samples and in live mice, and it seems that triclosan forms an ideal base for the proliferation of breast cancer.
The scientists compared the frequency and progression patterns of breast cancer growths, both in vitro and in vivo, for subjects who were exposed to triclosan and those who weren’t and the results were more than clear. Triclosan stimulates abnormal cell growth and this gets even more serious if we consider the fact that it accumulates in the body as time passes by, causing additional problems.
“Although the doses of EDCs were somewhat high, we did this to simulate the effects of daily exposure, as well as body accumulation due to long-term exposure, simultaneously in animal experiments,” stated Choi. “Thus, exposure to EDCs may significantly increase the risk of breast cancer development and adversely affect human health,” – it was stated in the paper.
Octylphenol amplifies cancer-causing effects of triclosan
During their research they were able to identify another antibacterial chemical, octylphenol, with similar cancer-causing properties. Even though it’s not as commonly used as triclosan, it was revealed that this chemical additionally harms our system, alongside triclosan, and stimulates abnormal cell growth and their proliferation, making it clearer than ever how toxic these substances are.
“Research has found that two EDCs — triclosan, an antimicrobial ingredient in many products, including soaps, cosmetics and cutting boards; and octylphenol, which is in some paints, pesticides and plastics — have accumulated in the environment,” explains ScienceDaily.com. “Additionally, triclosan is reportedly in the urine of an estimated 75 percent of Americans.”
We first heard about the dangers of these chemicals from consumer groups like Beyond Pesticides and the Environmental Working Group (EWG) who have worked tirelessly to raise the awareness about the dangers of triclosan. They were the first to point out its endocrine-disrupting properties and advocate for its removal from personal care products. Their efforts seem to be in vain, since a lot of manufacturers still use these chemicals without thinking twice about the consequences.
So which products contain triclosan?
In light of everything above mentioned, a great number of cosmetic product manufacturers started changing their formula, removing triclosan from their product, which is largely thanks to the media pressure. Below you can find a list of products which are or used to be formulated with triclosan, but this is not the complete list. Always try to look for triclosan in the products you use. Some retail outlets may still carry older formulations. Look out for labels that cay: “antimicrobial protection.” Some antibacterial soaps may use triclosan’s cousin, triclocarban, in place of triclosan.
Soap: Dial® Liquid handsoap and bodywash; Tea Tree Therapy™ Liquid Soap; Clearasil® Daily Face Wash; Dermalogica® Skin Purifying Wipes; DermaKleen™ Antibacterial Lotion Soap; CVS Antibacterial Soap, Ajax Antibacterial Dishsoap, Ultra Concentrated Dawn Antibacterial Dishsoap, Kimcare Antibacterial Clear Soap, Bath and Body Works Antibacterial Hand Soaps, Gels and Foaming Sanitizers.
Dental Care: Colgate Total®; Breeze™ Daily Mouthwash; Reach® Antibacterial Toothbrush
Cosmetics: Garden Botanika® Powder Foundation; Mavala Lip Base; Movate® Skin Litening Cream HQ; Paul Mitchell Detangler Comb, Revlon ColorStay LipSHINE Lipcolor Plus Gloss, Babor Volume Mascara, Phytomer Perfect Visage Gentle Cleansing Milk, Phytomer Hydracontinue Instant Moisture Cream, Bath and Body Works Antibacterial Moisturizing Lotions.
Deodorant: Arm and Hammer® Essentials Natural Deodorant; Queen Helene® Tea Trea Oil Deodorant and Aloe Deodorant; DeCleor Deodorant Stick; Epoch® Deodorant with Citrisomes.
First Aid: SyDERMA® Skin Protectant plus First Aid Antiseptic; Healwell Plantar Fasciitis Night Splint; Solarcaine® First Aid Medicated Spray; Nexcare™ First Aid, Skin Crack Care; : Universal Cervical Collar with Microban.
Kitchenware: Farberware® Microban Cutting Boards; Franklin Machine Products FMP Ice Cream Scoop SZ 20 Microban; Hobart Semi-Automatic Slicer; Chix® Food Service Wipes with Microban; Compact Web Foot® Wet Mop Heads.
Other Personal Care Products: Murad Acne Complex® Kit, ®; Diabet-x™ Cream; Scunci Microban Comb, Sportslick Pocket Slick.
Clothes: Biofresh® socks, undergarments, tops and bottoms.
Office and School Products: Ticonderoga® Pencils with Microban Protection, Avery® Touchgaurd View Binders, C-line® products, Clauss® cutting instruments, Costco® products, Sharp® printing calculators. Westcott® scissors
Other: Bionare® Cool Mist Humidifier; Deciguard AB® Antimicrobial Ear Plugs; Bauer® Re-Akt hockey helmet and 7500 hockey helment; Miller Paint Acro Pure Interior Paint; Holmes Foot Buddy™ HMH120U Antimicrobial Foot Buddy Foot Warmer, Blue Mountain Wall Coverings, California Paints®, Davis Paint® Perfection, Hirschfield’s Paint®,O’Leary Paint®, EHC AMRail Escalator Handrails, Dupont™ Air Filters, Winix Dehumidifiers, J Cloth® towels, select Quickie cleaning products, Kimberly Clark® WYPALL X80 Towels, Canopy® kitchen towels, ALUF Plastics®, BioEars earplugs, Petmate® LeBistro feeders and waterers, Infantino cart covers and baby carriers, Oreck XL®, Bissell Healthy Home Vacuum™, NuTone® Central Vacuum systems, Rival® Seal-A-Meal® Vacuum Food Sealer, CleenFreek SportsHygiene Yoga Mat, Resilite Sports Products, Rubbermaid® Coolers, Stufitts sports gear, Venture Products® fitness mats, Custom Building Products, DAP®Kwik Seal Plus®, Laticrete, Niasa Biquichamp® mortar grout and sealant, ProAdvanced Products.