We already know that triclosan – the antibacterial added to many soaps, deodorants and hand sanitizers – is bad for public health and for the environment, but a new study shows that it might also impair muscle function.
According to research coming out of the University of California and the University of Colorado, animals exposed to triclosan experience problems with muscle activity. Often in studies like this, the animals are exposed to much higher amounts of a chemical than humans normally encounter, but in these studies researchers approximated the amount of triclosan that people would encounter in our day to day. Mice in one such study had decreased muscle contractions, including in their hearts.
Related Reading: The Dangers of Triclosan and How to Avoid It
Study co-author Nipavan Chiamvimonvat, professor of cardiovascular medicine at UC Davis said:
The effects of triclosan on cardiac function were really dramatic. Although triclosan is not regulated as a drug, this compound acts like a potent cardiac depressant in our models.
There needs to be more research before scientists can say for certain that triclosan could impair muscle function in humans, but in the meantime, keeping it out of your home is the best way to minimize your exposure. You can find triclosan in many cosmetics – from soap to toothpaste – so careful label-reading is your friend.
Triclosan has quite a few negative effects on our environment, but this research highlights an unexpected impact. Read about how muscle impairment could damage fragile ecosystems on the next page.