Many soaps, shampoos, toothpastes and cleaners have an ingredient called Triclosan. This ingredient is supposed to help kill bacteria, but bacteria are highly adaptable and develop resistance. It has been found that using products with triclosan may result in increased colonization of the nasal cavities with Staphylococcus aureus. Having a Staph infection in your nose is not only very uncomfortable but also dangerous, as Staph infections can spread through the body. Sinus infections that are severe can also result in encephalitis if the bacteria succeed in compromising the membranes protecting the brain!
Triclosan has also been found in streams and water systems, where it is fueling the development of resistant strains of bacteria. Once bacteria form DNA sequences for resistance, they share this DNA on short fragments called plasmids. In this way, resistance to antimicrobial substances spreads quickly through bacterial colonies and even across different species.
Triclosan and a related product, octylphenol, have also been found to disrupt the endocrine system, causing hormonal imbalance and breast cancer. These products are in a category known ad EDC’s or endocrine disrupting chemicals and have been found in the urine of 75% of Americans.
Because these chemicals are antimicrobial, they have the effect of damaging the microbiome in the human body. Without a balanced microbiome, the immune system does not develop normally and the result can be dysfunctions ranging from allergies to autoimmune conditions.
Triclosan has also been found to reduce heart and skeletal muscle function in animals-resulting in heart problems and muscle weakness.
Sometimes, it is possible to be too clean and too sanitary! Using products with triclosan is one example. It is likely, based on triclosan as an example, that other antimicrobial ingredients may promote similar problems. So, read the ingredients and steer clear!