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Triclosan (antibacterial in liquid soaps) in the spotlight

Triclosan (antibacterial in liquid soaps) in the spotlight

The use of Triclosan in hundreds of household products including antibacterial liquid soaps and other personal-care products, such as toothpastes has come under question, with the two agencies that have legal oversight over its use in the United States – the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) taking a closer look at its safety and effectiveness. Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble and Avon have committed to phasing triclosan out of all their consumer products by 2015.

Seems that while Triclosan has saved many lives through its use in hospital handwashes, the lower concentrations in use in household products may actually be encouraging bacteria to become resistant to antibiotics.

Christine Carson, Research Associate at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research & at University of Western Australia summarises the current situation with regards to Triclosan:

Perhaps it is better to just use plain old soap and water or alcohol gel based hand washes.


Photo: Spider web bejewelled with water droplets from a heavy fog

4 Replies

I just checked our Tesco's Antibacterial handwash... that claims to kill 99.9% of bacteria... Hmm... No sign of Triclosan (unless it goes by another name). Lots of other chemicals though - which might turn out to be just as bad. As you say, better stick to plain soap and water.

Beautiful spider's web...

1 like

This made me smile... and it does get the message over. Just skip any advert that comes at the beginning.


PaulaS, that youtube wasn't available, darn it.


So sorry about that, Danety. Thanks for letting me know. I just tried the link again (cut and pasted into Google Chrome) and it worked for me. It's just a takeoff of the Beatles old song "I wanna hold your hand", but about handwashing. A bit cheesey - not very profound, but it made me smile.


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