I keep hearing about this product known as triclosan, and that it is used in sanitizing soap. And I also heard that it is harmful, and causes some sort of muscle problems.

However some people aren't affected by it. Why is this, and should I be worried about washing my hands?


Triclosan (2,4,4′-trichloro-2′-hydroxydiphenyl ether) is a nonionic, broad spectrum, antimicrobial agent that, because of its favorable safety profile, has been incorporated into a variety of many personal care products, including deodorant soaps, underarm deodorants, shower gels, and health care personnel handwashes. Triclosan exhibits a moderate degree of substantivity to the skin, and, in many products, it imparts a remnant antimicrobial effect.Here is the link.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states that "Triclosan is not currently known to be hazardous to humans."

Despite having significant uses, it also posses little amount of adverse effects on prolong use.It impairs muscle function and skeletal muscle contractile property.This research has only been conducted in mice and results were not good; when mice were exposed to triclosan, heart muscle function was reduced by 25 percent and grip strength was reduced by 18 %. So result has concluded that it might cause skeletal and heart muscle failure in humans as well.Here is the link.

Exposures to triclosan can also cause dermatitis, or skin irritation, and an increase in allergic reactions, especially in children.Due to its link with dioxin, it has been suspected to cause other health problems like weakening of the immune system, decreased fertility, miscarriage, birth defects, and cancer.Here is the link

But to eradicate these effects,FDA has been engaged in an ongoing scientific and regulatory review of this ingredient. FDA does not have sufficient safety evidence to recommend changing consumer use of products that contain triclosan at this time.

So we can conclude that, it cannot be considered entirely harmful for human body.

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  • $\begingroup$ -1, this is an extremely selective reading of the evidence. Triclosan has low enough toxicity to be used as a toothpaste additive with good results (onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD010514.pub2/…). It is not a dioxin like molecule, and the trace dioxins which might be produced by its degredation are not considered harmful. The FDA are correct in thinking it not to be currently hazardous, because beyond the rare occurence of allergic reactions there is no evidence that its use is problematic. $\endgroup$ – J. LS Apr 15 '15 at 7:36
  • $\begingroup$ Hey i respect your comment. All the things that i posted as answer is based upon the websites which i have put on as proof. The article that you mentioned has said that "The studies investigated local adverse effects such as tooth staining, altered taste and included clinical examination of oral and perioral soft and hard tissues.". $\endgroup$ – CCR Apr 15 '15 at 9:16
  • $\begingroup$ Please check the first link. It has mentioned that "Tricolsan impairs muscle function and skeletal muscle contractility, researchers report in a new study done at the University of California Davis. Although the study was done in mice, researchers said the effects of the chemical on cardiac function were "really dramatic."" $\endgroup$ – CCR Apr 15 '15 at 9:16
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    $\begingroup$ Yeah. i was just pointing out that "there are some adverse effects on using products containing triclosan" being little skeptical . and these might cause on long exposure. Just recommending "not to use them if you think it is best for you " to asker. Well every thing has its own positive and negative sides . $\endgroup$ – CCR Apr 15 '15 at 9:46
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    $\begingroup$ However as we all know, if there are cases of something being harmful, then we should probably not use it. Just to be safe. Then again people who favor this product might also try to find evidence to prove this wrong. So at the end of the day we, not the FDA, make the decision to use this certain substance. Just trying to stay neutral. $\endgroup$ – Asker123 Apr 16 '15 at 20:24

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