Triclosan + tap water = chloroform
More hazards of antibacterial products
UPdate Fall 2008
Danger: Creates chloroform when mixed with tap water.
If consumers of antibacterial products saw this warning on the label of their
anti-bacterial soap, shaving cream, toothpaste or cleaning liquids, or heard
it in a TV ad, it is unlikely that so many anti-bacterial products would
find their way into our homes. But labels and advertisements don’t
tell consumers all they need to know to protect their health.
Research into Triclosan, the most common anti-bacterial chemical used in consumer
products, documented that Triclosan reacts with chlorine in tap water to form
significant quantities of chloroform. Chloroform is classified as a probable
Researchers at Virginia Polytechnic and State University estimate that under
some conditions the use of triclosan can increase a person’s annual exposure
to chloroform by as much as 40% above background levels in tap water. Research
results from two studies were published in 2005 and 2007.
So what does a person do if they are concerned about germs? Regular soap and
water does just as good a job as antibacterial products – without the
risks, according to University of Michigan Department of Public Health professor
Dr. Allison Aiello. Vinegar and water is also highly effective in killing germs.
UPdate, Fall 2008, Environmental Health Association of Nova Scotia
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