Triclosan in Toothpaste, Soap Can Harm Women Bones

Henrietta Brewer
June 27, 2019

Because the researchers looked at women who were exposed to triclosan, as well as many other chemicals, during their lives, this study can not prove that triclosan caused osteoporosis.

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Triclosan was added to the aforementioned products to prevent bacterial contamination, but in 2016 the agency began restricting the chemical's use because no proofs were available that showed it would be safe with long-term daily use.

Washing with regular soap and water, for example, can help fight germs just as well as using antibacterial cleaning products and avoid exposure to triclosan, Claudio said.

Commenting on their findings, Yingjun Li noted that, while the results were promising, little is known about the relationship between triclosan and human bone health. The researchers claim that this study is the first of its kinds to investigate the association between triclosan exposure with bone mineral density and osteoporosis.

The data came from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2005-2010) and allowed scientists to study the link between urinary triclosan concentrations and osteoporosis risk.

But consumers do need to read the labels because triclosan is in a lot of cosmetics and personal care items that aren't necessarily marketed as antibacterial products.

The report was published online June 25 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Unilever is one manufacturer that has phased out triclosan from its entire range of products in response to consumer demand, although it says it is confident the chemical is safe. It can also be found in clothing, kitchenware, furniture and toys.

When people use a product that contains triclosan, a small amount is absorbed through the skin or mouth.

A 2008 study by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found triclosan in the urine of almost 75 percent of those tested. Researchers have now linked the chemical to an increased risk of osteoporosis.

However, they can also occur in other bones, such as in the arm or pelvis. Around 30% of postmenopausal women in the United States have osteoporosis, and four out of 10 of them will encounter a bone break, the authors explained.

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