Chemical Widely Used In Antibacterial Hand Soap Damages Heart, Skeleton, Muscle Function

 Consider avoiding the plethora of mainstream cleaning and personal hygiene products containing triclosan if you value your body’s ability to function properly, says University of California-Davis, whose dire findings add to evidence from John Hopkins researchers and others:

Triclosan, an antibacterial chemical widely used in hand soaps and other personal-care products, hinders muscle contractions at a cellular level, slows swimming in fish and reduces muscular strength in mice, according to researchers at the University of California, Davis, and the University of Colorado. The findings appear online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.

“Triclosan is found in virtually everyone’s home and is pervasive in the environment,” said Isaac Pessah, professor and chair of the Department of Molecular Biosciences in the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and principal investigator of the study. “These findings provide strong evidence that the chemical is of concern to both human and environmental health.”

Triclosan is commonly found in antibacterial personal-care products such as hand soaps as well as deodorants, mouthwashes, toothpaste, bedding, clothes, carpets, toys and trash bags. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1998 estimated that more than 1 million pounds of triclosan are produced annually in the United States, and that the chemical is detectable in waterways and aquatic organisms ranging from algae to fish to dolphins, as well as in human urine, blood and breast milk.

The investigators performed several experiments to evaluate the effects of triclosan on muscle activity, using doses similar to those that people and animals may be exposed to during everyday life.

The UC Davis research team has previously linked triclosan to other potentially harmful health effects, including disruption of reproductive hormone activity and of cell signaling in the brain.

The team also found that triclosan impairs heart and skeletal muscle contractility in living animals. Anesthetized mice had up to a 25-percent reduction in heart function measures within 20 minutes of exposure to the chemical.

“The effects of triclosan on cardiac function were really dramatic,” said Nipavan Chiamvimonvat, professor of cardiovascular medicine at UC Davis and a study co-author. “Although triclosan is not regulated as a drug, this compound acts like a potent cardiac depressant in our models.”

9 Comments on "Chemical Widely Used In Antibacterial Hand Soap Damages Heart, Skeleton, Muscle Function"

  1. Answerable | Aug 15, 2012 at 6:34 pm |

    Hopefully it doesn’t surprise anyone that one of the same chemicals used in rat poison hurts rats and people. Read your labels–it’s been like this for decades.

  2. Do they list it as triclosan, or something else?  I have that exact same Dora toothpaste, and triclosan is nowhere on the ingredients list, active or inactive.

    • Apathesis | Aug 16, 2012 at 12:21 am |

      It’s possible it’s just a misleading picture. 

      Do any of these show up on the label:
      2,4,4′-trichloro-2′-hydroxydiphenyl ether,

      Lexol 300,
      Irgasan DP 300

      Sorry for the shitty representation.  I ripped that from Wikipedia and I had (have) zero interest in chemistry.

      • Thanks for the info.  None of those appear either.  I too have zero interest in chemistry.  But I’m sure one of the ingredients will either kill or maim…I wish they’d clear the BS from labels and call it what it is; like the natural flavorings in vanilla that are really beaver anal secretions.  Seriously. The Eat This, Not That newsletter is scary!

  3. Apathesis | Aug 16, 2012 at 12:09 am |

    The futility of our existence and the quest to rid ourselves of our problems is hysterical…

  4. Marklar_Prime | Aug 17, 2012 at 1:06 am |

    Show me a non-toxic product in this day and age and I’ll show you a glass of distilled water.

  5. Well I guess it’s a good thing I’m not a mouse or a fish o.0

  6. zhenghe253 | Aug 18, 2012 at 9:08 pm |

Comments are closed.