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Avoiding Toxic Triclosan

Avoid antibacterial soap when washing hands

Avoiding Toxic Triclosan

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With parents and students gearing up to go back to school, it’s good time to think about avoiding the toxic chemical triclosan, which is found in many of the antibacterial soaps that abound in classrooms and school bathrooms (and even offices, for those non-school goers!). It’s also commonly added to disinfectant cleaners used to clean these areas.

Triclocan is linked to hormone disruption and potential increased risk of breast cancer, and it doesn’t break down in the environment. But here’s the bottom line: studies have shown that this toxic chemical is no more effective at preventing illness or removing germs than soap and water.

Here’s are WVE’s top tips for avoiding triclosan:

  • Reduce your use of disinfectants, which may contain triclosan. For general cleaning, the surfactants in soap help lift the dirt off surfaces, while a little scrubbing and good rinsing will carry away the dirt (and any germs).
  • Avoid antibacterial hand soap. Washing with regular soap and water does wonders to get your hands clean without this harsh chemical. Wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds (the time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” in your head).
  • Read labels to avoid other products, like deodorant or toothpaste, that contain triclosan as an active ingredient.
  • You can use Skin Deep to find personal care products that don’t contain triclosan, and GoodGuide for cleaning products free from triclosan.

Learn more about triclosan and how to get rid of it for good.

3 Responses

  1. Cathy Lawson

    I work hard to keep toxic products and foods out of our home, but it is so hard to keep them out of my daughter’s school. They routinely feed junk food, use toxic products, etc. We need to educate a whole lot more people. I support the EWG every month – how do you link with them?

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