Soaps are used every day without anyone thinking twice about them. They are an essential hygiene product that protects our body from bacteria and germs, but according to recent studies, most soap manufacturers use harsh antibacterial chemicals in their products that could be doing more harm than good.
A recent South Korean study showed that many popular soap brands contain triclosan, an antibacterial additive that was confirmed to promote cancer in both in vitro and in vivo studies.The study was conducted by Kyung-Chul Choi and his team of scientists at the Chungbuk National University.
The team investigated the effects of triclosan on the hormonal system, and the results showed that the additive mimics estrogen, a female hormone, which disrupts the hormonal balance in the body and allows testosterone overproduction. Knowing this, it’s not surprising that soap can cause abnormal cellular growth. Triclosan has triggered breast cancer cells in mice and cell samples in one study, which makes matters worse.
When comparing the frequency and progression pattern of breast cancer growth, the difference between the subjects exposed and not exposed to triclosan was clear. The additive stimulates abnormal cellular growth and causes additional problems in the future. “Although the doses of EDCs were somewhat high, we did this to simulate the effects of daily exposure, as well as body accumulation due to long-term exposure, simultaneously in animal experiments,” stated Choi. “Thus, exposure to EDCs may significantly increase the risk of breast cancer development and adversely affect human health,” the study concluded.
Octylphenolincreases the cancer-causing effects of triclosan
During the study, scientists were able to locate another cancer-causing compound called octylphenol. Even though not that commonly used in soaps as triclosan, the compounds combine together to harm our system and stimulate abnormal cellular growth. “Research has found that two EDCs — triclosan, an antimicrobial ingredient in many products, including soaps, cosmetics and cutting boards; and octylphenol, which is in some paints, pesticides and plastics — have accumulated in the environment. Additionally, triclosan is reportedly in the urine of an estimated 75 percent of Americans,” ScienceDaily.com reports.
The public first heard about the cancer-causing effect of these chemicals thanks to consumer groups such as Environmental Working Group and Beyond Pesticides. These groups are always at work in order to raise awareness about triclosan, and were the first to point out its endocrine-disrupting effect. However, their efforts are not widely recognized, and most manufacturers are still using triclosan and octylphenol in their hygiene products.
Which products contain triclosan?
Although some manufacturers removed triclosan from their formula due to public pressure, the majority hasn’t altered their formula a bit. Here’s a list of hygiene products that contain triclosan:
Cosmetics: Garden Botanika® Powder Foundation; Mavala Lip Base; Movate® Skin Litening Cream HQ; Paul Mitchell Detangler Comb, Revlon ColorStayLipSHINELipcolor Plus Gloss, Babor Volume Mascara, Phytomer Perfect Visage Gentle Cleansing Milk, PhytomerHydracontinue Instant Moisture Cream, Bath and Body Works Antibacterial Moisturizing Lotions.
First Aid: SyDERMA® Skin Protectant plus First Aid Antiseptic; Healwell Plantar Fasciitis Night Splint; Solarcaine® First Aid Medicated Spray; Nexcare™ First Aid, Skin Crack Care; : Universal Cervical Collar with Microban.
Deodorant: Arm and Hammer® Essentials Natural Deodorant; Queen Helene® Tea Trea Oil Deodorant and Aloe Deodorant; DeCleor Deodorant Stick; Epoch® Deodorant with Citrisomes.
Dental care: Colgate Total®; Breeze™ Daily Mouthwash; Reach® Antibacterial Toothbrush
Soap: Dial® Liquid handsoap and bodywash; Tea Tree Therapy™ Liquid Soap; Clearasil® Daily Face Wash; Dermalogica® Skin Purifying Wipes; DermaKleen™ Antibacterial Lotion Soap; CVS Antibacterial Soap, Ajax Antibacterial Dishsoap.
Kitchenware: Farberware® Microban Cutting Boards; Franklin Machine Products FMP Ice Cream Scoop SZ 20 Microban; Hobart Semi-Automatic Slicer; Chix® Food Service Wipes with Microban; Compact Web Foot® Wet Mop Heads.
Office and school products: Ticonderoga® Pencils with Microban Protection, Avery® Touchgaurd View Binders, C-line® products, Clauss® cutting instruments, Costco® products, Sharp® printing calculators. Westcott® scissors
Clothes: Biofresh® socks, undergarments, tops and bottoms.
Other personal care products: Murad Acne Complex® Kit, ®; Diabet-x™ Cream; ScunciMicroban Comb, Sportslick Pocket Slick.
Other: Bionare® Cool Mist Humidifier; Deciguard AB® Antimicrobial Ear Plugs; Bauer® Re-Akt hockey helmet and 7500 hockey helment; Miller Paint Acro Pure Interior Paint; Holmes Foot Buddy™ HMH120U Antimicrobial Foot Buddy Foot Warmer, Blue Mountain Wall Coverings, California Paints®, Davis Paint® Perfection, Hirschfield’s Paint®,O’Leary Paint®, EHC AMRail Escalator Handrails, Dupont™ Air Filters, Winix Dehumidifiers, J Cloth® towels, select Quickie cleaning products, Kimberly Clark® WYPALL X80 Towels, Canopy® kitchen towels, ALUF Plastics®, BioEars earplugs, Petmate® LeBistro feeders and waterers, Infantino cart covers and baby carriers, Oreck XL®, Bissell Healthy Home Vacuum™, NuTone® Central Vacuum systems.