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The Ingredient to Avoid in Soap

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  • The Ingredient to Avoid in Soap

    The Ingredient to Avoid in Soap

    Triclosan now seems to cause liver damage, too.


    Using some antibacterial soaps may promote tumor growth, according to a study just published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The findings add to a body of concerns about triclosan, one of the most common antimicrobial chemicals in consumer products from detergents to cosmetics, including links to allergy development in children, and potentially to breast cancer via disruption of hormone signals that may also cause thyroid dysfunction and weight gain.

    "Our interest in this was that triclosan is just so abundant," said lead researcher Robert Tukey, a professor at University of California San Diego School of Medicine. "It's really everywhere in the environment."

    Today's study found that mice who were exposed to triclosan regularly for six months showed abnormal cell proliferation, liver fibrosis, and inflammatory responses—all of which, the researchers write, "resemble the environment within which human liver cancer forms." The researchers expect that the same triclosan-induced formation of liver tumors "would occur in humans as it occurs in mice."

    “If non-triclosan-containing soaps are available, use the alternative," said Paul Blanc, a professor of medicine at UCSF, earlier this year in a press statement. "This is based on the precautionary principle–that is, if you don’t know for certain that something is unsafe, it’s better to err on the side of caution.”

    Pair that with findings from the FDA last December that "there is currently no evidence that [antibacterial soaps] are any more effective at preventing illness than washing with plain soap and water," and the case against them is pretty clear.
    More: The Atlantic

    Paper: The commonly used antimicrobial additive triclosan is a liver tumor promoter
    ?Addressing chronic disease is an issue of human rights ? that must be our call to arms"
    Richard Horton, Editor-in-Chief The Lancet

    ~~~~ Twitter:@GertvanderHoek ~~~ ~~~