(NaturalNews) Antibacterial products containing Triclosan are found to put your health at risk and compromise the immune system's ability to defend itself. People who are most exposed to Triclosan are more prone to increased allergies, asthma and overall weakened immune defenses, cites a new study from the School of Public Health at the University of Michigan.
Triclosan is in the same class of toxins as Bisphenol A (BPA). They are called endocrine-disrupting compounds or EDCs because of their ability to affect the functions of hormones or even worse mirror them. Triclosan is a synthetic antimicrobial agent present in hundreds of products ranging from toothpaste, deodorants, lotions, soaps, and even plastics and fabrics. This study indicates that participants ages 18 or younger with higher levels of Triclosan had increased chances of allergies and asthma. Associate professor and principal investigator Allison Aiello stated that living in very clean and hygienic environments is counter-beneficial to our health as it prevents the exposure to micro-organisms that trigger the immune system into action; consequently, the latter is not given a chance to kick in.
In recent years, several studies have shown strong evidence linking Triclosan to a variety of immunotoxic and neurotoxic reactions ranging from skin irritations and increased allergic reactions to a marked hypothermic effect on the body; they lower the body's temperature and affect the central nervous system - typical of hypothyroidism in which the most common condition is autoimmune thyroiditis (or Hashimoto's thyroiditis), caused by a weakened immune system.
One particular study, also from the University of Michigan, found antibacterial soap
to be no more effective than plain soap at preventing disease and reducing the number of bacteria on the hands. More importantly, the study also found evidence that Triclosan increases drug resistance to antibiotics among different species of bacteria, thus promoting the emergence of antibiotic-resistant generations of bacteria.
Triclosan was introduced into the health care industry in 1972 and over the last 38 years, its use has increased dramatically. Triclosan, a lipophilic agent, poses health concerns with its ability to accumulate in fatty tissues in high quantities. It has also been found to contain dioxin, a family of carcinogenic compounds ranging in toxicity. Dioxins are linked to causing severe health problems such as miscarriages, birth defects, altering sex hormones and even cancer. It is important to note that when exposed to sunlight or ultraviolet light, Triclosan converts to dioxin. Additionally, Triclosan, on its own, poses a threat to the ecosystem and is deadly to various types of algae, not to mention that because of its lipophilic properties, it accumulates in fatty tissues of fish and other organisms.
A number of European governments (Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Germany) have issued warnings advising the public to discontinue antibacterial
product uses: calling their use "superfluous and risky". In the US, both the EPA and the FDA have made little effort in advising the public about the risks of Triclosan. On its website, the FDA cites lack of evidence regarding the health and environmental hazards of the chemical. The EPA has rescheduled the re-registration of Triclosan; this moves it up ten years ahead of its previous schedule to 2013. Both the EPA and FDA have also announced that Triclosan is undergoing review and results of their study are expected in the spring of 2011.
About the author
Anita Khalek resides in North Carolina. As a total wellness advocate, she is a passionate believer in the healing power of Nature and is inspired by local, organic and fresh foods to nurture her family and friends. Anita is currently working on several projects including a cookbook. Visit her blog for fresh, healthy recipes at myFreshLevant.com.
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