Your liquid soap could be toxic


A common ingredient found in liquid soap, as well as some shampoos, toothpaste and other personal hygiene products, is a chemical named triclosan. Despite the fact that it is so widely used, this antimicrobial could pose potentially serious consequences after long-term exposure. Specifically, triclosan causes liver fibrosis and cancer in laboratory mice through molecular mechanisms that are also relevant in humans, according to researchers from the University of California, San Diego and the University of California, Davis. Lead study author Dr. Robert H. Tukey warns that the broad use of triclosan presents "a very real risk of liver toxicity for people, as it does in mice." Triclosan is perhaps the most ubiquitous consumer antibacterial. Studies have found traces in 97 percent of breast milk samples from lactating women and in the urine of nearly 75 percent of people tested. Triclosan is also common in the environment: It is one of the seven most frequently detected compounds in streams across the U.S. Triclosan is currently under scrutiny by the FDA, thanks to its widespread use and recent reports that it can disrupt hormones and impair muscle contraction.

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