Antimicrobial Soaps, Triclosan and Testosterone
How about a health product that actually undermines your health? Better
yet, how about a health product that attacks your thyroid, reproductive organs
and every male hormone your produce?
Yes, such a product exists and is used by tens of millions of people daily.
It is particularly dangerous for kids as I will document below. The
product is triclosan, the chemical that makes antimicrobial soaps antimicrobial.
Sure, this product kills bacteria and viruses, but unfortunately also goes after
us as well.
By the way, this is not new knowledge as you'll see below. The FDA and
corporate community have known for decades that this is toxic and deadly stuff.
But, hey, we'll worry about that after we all make a couple of hundred million,
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In fact, the opposite has happened: consumer product corporations have put
this toxin in toothpastes and mouthwashes as well. I guess they were
worried we wouldn't absorb enough through the skin, eh?
Consider just a few of the nasty things associated with triclosan in the animal
1) Testosterone. One study on rats showed that Triclosan, when given
to young male rats, significantly reduced testosterone levels.  Yes,
triclosan is a well-known endocrine disruptor and has many studies on multiple
animal species. So let's just put it in our soap and rub it all over our
hands and our children's hands, eh?
2) Thyroid. Triclosan also alter thyroid hormones. The above study,
for example, found that it immediately lowered T4 levels and, at higher does, T3
levels as well. I guess the manufacturers think the thyroid is a vestigal
3) Sperm and Fertility. Another study on male rats found that Triclosan
decreased "lutenizing hormone (LH), follicle stimulating hormone (FSH),
cholesterol, pregnenolone, and testosterone".  Maybe it would be easier
to list the hormones that Triclosan doesn't negatively affect instead?
And keep in mind that these are just a couple of the recent studies, but there
are literally dozens from decades previous. Note that it is VERY important not
to use Triclosan with young children and pregnant moms should avoid it all
So what is the answer?
You can use an antimicrobial soap without Triclosan. For example, some
companies have gone instead with Methylisothiazolinone. This is probably a
more safe solution in the short term but risky in the long term. Long term
studies have shown it to be safe, but several in vitro studies have shown it to
be neurotoxic.  "Better safe than sorry when it comes to your neurons",
I always say.
Besides, there is a better solution:
Use soap. Regular, non-toxic soap. The trick is to just wash your
hands a little bit longer. That's what surgeons do, after all, and it will
work for you too.
Try to rub for about 20 seconds and then the research shows that paper towels are
the most sanitary way to dry your hands. The reason is that most people
who use a bathroom air dryer on their hands will rub their hands together and
this actually pulls bacteria below the surface back onto the surface.
1) Toxicological Sciences, 2009, 107 (1): 56-64, "The Effects of Triclosan on
Puberty and Thyroid Hormones in Male Wistar Rats"
2) Reproductive Toxicology, Apr 2009, 27(2):177-185, "Alteration of testicular
steroidogenesis and histopathology of reproductive system in male rats treated
3) The Journal of Neuroscience, Sep 1 2002, 22(17):7408-7416, "In Vitro
Neurotoxicity of Methylisothiazolinone, a Commonly Used Industrial and Household
Biocide, Proceeds via a Zinc and Extracellular Signal-Regulated Kinase
Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase-Dependent Pathway"