Antibacterial soaps are considered to be the best prevention from bacteria and germs and people are using them all the time, thinking they’re completely safe and health beneficial. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. The antibacterial chemicals which manufacturers commonly use in these soaps could be doing more harm than good. According to a new study out of South Korea the commonly used antibacterial additive, triclosan, showed cancer-promoting effects both in vitro and in vivo, a discovery which has left many experts shocked!
The study conducted by Kyung-Chul Choi and colleagues from Chungbuk National University and the Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology primarily examined the effects of triclosan on the hormonal system. A known hormone-disruptor, triclosan has been shown in previous research to mimic the feminizing hormone estrogen, which in turn alters the normal production and expression of other hormones like testosterone.
Having this in mind, it’s no wonder that the scientists discovered triclosan to be disrupting the endocrine system’s balance, causing abnormal cellular growths. It has an especially negative influence on women, triggering the growth of breast cancer cells, leading to the formation of malignant tumors. This was demonstrated both in cell samples and in live mice, and it seems that triclosan forms an ideal base for the proliferation of breast cancer.
The scientists compared the frequency and progression patterns of breast cancer growths, both in vitro and in vivo, for subjects who were exposed to triclosan and those who weren’t and the results were more than clear. Triclosan stimulates abnormal cell growth and this gets even more serious if we consider the fact that it accumulates in the body as time passes by, causing additional problems.
“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,” – it was stated in the paper.
Octylphenol amplifies cancer-causing effects of triclosan
During their research they were able to identify another antibacterial chemical, octylphenol, with similar cancer-causing properties. Even though it’s not as commonly used as triclosan, it was revealed that this chemical additionally harms our system, alongside triclosan, and stimulates abnormal cell growth and their proliferation, making it clearer than ever how toxic these substances are.
“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,” explains ScienceDaily.com. “Additionally, triclosan is reportedly in the urine of an estimated 75 percent of Americans.”
We first heard about the dangers of these chemicals from consumer groups like Beyond Pesticides and the Environmental Working Group (EWG) who have worked tirelessly to raise the awareness about the dangers of triclosan. They were the first to point out its endocrine-disrupting properties and advocate for its removal from personal care products. Their efforts seem to be in vain, since a lot of manufacturers still use these chemicals without thinking twice about the consequences.
Beyond Pesticides explain:
“Studies have increasingly linked triclosan and its chemical cousin triclocarban, to a range of adverse health and environmental effects, from skin irritation, endocrine disruption, bacterial and compounded antibiotic resistance, to the contamination of water and its negative impact on fragile aquatic ecosystems,”.
If you want to read more about the study connecting triclosan and octylphenol to breast cancer, go to: