Not too long ago, the Environmental Protection Agency began to take public comments on the potential dangers of triclosan, a popular ingredient in anti bacterial soaps, sanitizers and toothpastes. In addition to being used in these every day household products, triclosan is also used in a number of pesticides, which is where the EPA comes in. There is serious risk of chlorine in tap water to convert the triclosan in these products into harmful, poisonous dioxins. Now 2 months later, a study on triclosan has been published in Environmental Health Perspectives that was conducted at the University of Michigan, and points to the additives potential ability to create allergies in children.
This isnt the first time triclosan has been implicated in dysfunctions of the immune system. However, this time it was compared in urine concentrations from absorption alongside BPA. The study showed that both chemicals were associated with antibody levels that would suggest immune system dysfunction. Also of note, higher triclosan exposure was directly related to higher allergy risk in study participants age 18 and younger.
The problem regarding allergies might be that triclosan is too powerful an additive, and kills too many germs. A suggestion that many wouldnt think makes sense. However, consider the idea that living in too clean an environment can limit exposure to certain bacteria that help to develop the immune system. Without enough exposure to certain stimuli, its possible for a person to be too clean for their own good according to study co-author Allison Aiello.
It has yet to be determined if the allergies were caused directly by triclosan, or developed because of the limited bacterial exposure due to overuse of antibacterial soaps. Its important to remember that plenty of studies have concluded that washing with regular soap and warm water is just as effective at eliminating harmful germs, and additional chemicals may not be the answer to a healthier lifestyle.