Triclosan is a wonder chemical that is supposed to kill germs. It makes sense that it is such a success, what parent wants their children to be covered in germs. We live in a world that is very anti-germ, if there is a chemical out there that can make getting rid of germs even easier then people will want it.
Most people know about Triclosan being the active ingredient in many soaps. However, it is put into more then just soap. Triclosan is in almost everything; sponges, towels, toothpaste, dish detergent, clothes, shoes, shower curtains. Anything that is labeled as germ resistant or antibacterial will likely have Triclosan in it. Even from a non-crunchy point of view this seems a bit over board to me.
The funny thing is that Triclosan does not do a better job of getting rid of germs then just plain soap. If it is not any better why do we put Triclosan in everything?
The problem is that Triclosan is not only ineffective as an amazing germ killer but it is also bad for us. That’s right people, Triclosan is not making you healthier, it is potentially killing you. Triclosan has been linked to liver and inhalation toxicity, cancer, developmental defects and disrupted thyroid functions.
Triclosan is also not good for the environment. It is not fully removed from our water and therefore gets washed into rivers and oceans. Aquatic life is being harmed from our germ free fetish.
How do we avoid Triclosan? If it is in everything how are we possibly going to avoid it?
Do not buy anything that contains Triclosan or Triclocarban (Triclosan’s cousin). This is easy to do since it is required to list products active ingredients.
Avoid buying anything that is labeled as antibacterial, germ resistant, fights germs, protects against mold, fights odors, or keeps foods fresh longer. These products most likely contain Triclosan, although there are exceptions to the rule.
How do we avoid germs then?
Wash your hands in warm water and regular soap.
Honestly, wash anything in warm water and regular soap.