Well, add one more mark against the ingredient. A new study, published in the ACS journal Chemical Research in Toxicology, found that triclosan (which is an endocrine-disrupting chemical, or EDC) promoted the growth of human breast cancer cells in lab dishes and breast cancer tumors in mice.
“Although the doses of EDCs were somewhat high, we did this to simulate their effects of daily exposure, as well as body accumulation due to long-term exposure, simultaneously in animal experiments. Thus, exposure to EDCs may significantly increase the risk of breast cancer development and adversely affect human health,” the researchers state in the paper.”
The FDA still officially says that triclosan is “safe” but says it’s currently conducting further research.
What to do in the meantime? The bottom line: know your alternatives.
Amid all of the back and forth about triclosan’s safety, an FDA advisory committee actually found that antibacterial soaps don’t offer any additional benefits over plain soap and water anyway! So it’s smart to choose a natural soap, like California Baby Squeaky Clean Moisturizing Hand Wash, $6.99, which uses vegetable cleansers, and extracts of lemon, coconut oil, and tea tree.
And encourage kids (and grownups!) to wash hands for at least 20 seconds at a time, especially after playing outside or even playing with their toys at home. It’ll help ward off colds and other bugs, and also help keep them safe from other toxic exposure that could come from putting little hands in mouths.