Triclosan – Killing Germs or Killing Us?

Quick!  In what types of products do you find triclosan?

Oh, hand sanitizers, toy cleaners, deodorant, just about anywhere you would find a good cosmetic biocide.  (also used as a preservative or deodorant agent.)

And what has the media taught us?  That triclosan can be toxic when used at extremely large doses!  Deary, deary me!  Not another chemical that can kill?  Why is being beautiful so deadly?  And who created the phrase “drop dead gorgeous” anyway?

Triclosan – and organic chlorinated aromatic compound whose functional groups are representative of ethers and phenols.  It has been shown to be effective in reducing and controlling bacterial contamination on the skin.  Usually used at 0.1% to 0.3% w/w it can be used by physicians at much higher concentrations for specific purposes.

Now the world gets concerned with the multiple products that can be used daily sparking fears of overdosing.  The team at Ciba (major manufacturer of triclosan) says that extensive testing on animals and human volunteers has shown that while triclosan does circulate in the blood during use, it is 200 to 300 times less than the amount that showed any effects on the animals.  Also, when the human discontinues use of triclosan products, triclosan is no longer detectable in the system.

So, how do we call this one?  My personal opinion is that there shouldn’t be any problems with occasional usage.  I wouldn’t use it everyday, but then I’m not a surgeon or doctor dealing or touching sick people all day.  Plus, they are great for cleaning post-use sex toys!

Want to learn more?  Try these two sites.  They are lots of fun!

http://www.ciba.com/ind-pc-triclosan.htm

http://www.beyondpesticides.org/pesticides/factsheets/Triclosan%20cited.pdf