Triclosan
Unnecessary and Dangerous?


"Triclosan" is a useful article, by M Angela McGhee, PhD, relating to the commonly used anti-bacterial agent used in so many daily-use household and personal products. Dr. McGhee minces no words in making it clear how detrimental such questionable chemicals can be to human health, and the environment. Be sure to look out for it on the ingredients labels of the products you are commonly using just now and, if you are concerend for your famuily's health, try to choose products that do not include this dubious ingredient included in their formulation:

TRICLOSAN

by M. Angela McGhee, Ph.D., Biology and Marine Sciences

Triclosan, a chemical used for its antibacterial properties, is an ingredient in many detergents, dish-washing liquids, soaps, deodorants, cosmetics, lotions, anti-microbial creams, various toothpastes, and an additive in various plastics and textiles. However, the safety of this substance has been questioned in regard to environmental and human health. While the companies that manufacture products containing this chemical claim that it is safe, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has registered it as a pesticide. The chemical formulation and molecular structure of this compound are similar to some of the most toxic chemicals on earth, relating it to dioxins and PCBs... (with) high scores both as a human health risk and as an environmental risk.


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Triclosan is a chlorophenol, a class of chemicals which is suspected of causing cancer in humans. Externally, phenol can cause a variety of skin irritations, but since it can temporarily deactivate sensory nerve endings, contact with it may cause little or no pain. Taken internally, even in small amounts, phenol can lead to cold sweats, circulatory collapse, convulsions, coma and death. Additionally, chlorinated hydrocarbon pesticides can be stored in body fat, sometimes accumulating to toxic levels. Long term exposure to repeated use of many pesticide products can damage the liver, kidneys, heart and lungs, suppress the immune system, and cause hormonal disruption, paralysis, sterility and brain haemorrhages.

Dioxins, PCBs, chlorophenols and many pesticides are categorized as persistent organic pollutants. In other words, they persist in the environment and accumulate to higher and higher concentrations with each step up the food chain. Virtually, every creature on earth has a measured amount of these pollutants in its body fat. Once absorbed into the fat cells, it is nearly impossible to eliminate these compounds. Triclosan is among this class of chemicals, and humans are among the animals at the top of the food chain. The health risks are considerable.

Employing a strong antibiotic agent such as triclosan for everyday use is of questionable value. Many antimicrobial treatments are toxic and take a shotgun approach to killing all microscopic organisms to which they are applied. However, this approach includes the risk of toxicity to host organisms, that is, the plants or animals (including humans) exposed to treatment for microbial infections. Toxic exposure to living creatures can also occur when food items and objects such as utensils or hard surfaces are treated with disinfectants for microbial contamination. Additionally, the shotgun approach destroys the beneficial bacteria which occur naturally in the environment and in our bodies. These so-called friendly bacteria cause no harm and often produce beneficial effects such as aiding metabolism and inhibiting the invasion of harmful pathogens. Anti-microbial formulas and disinfectants can also cause genetic mutations resulting in drug-resistant bacterial and mutant viruses, producing new strains of harmful microbes for which the human immune system has no defence.

Triclosan has not been completely tested and analyzed for all health and environmental risks, but since it occurs in the category of the chemicals which are known to have the detrimental effects described here, do you want it added to products you use every day?





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