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Banish triclosan in antibacterial products?

12/08/2014 by Poppy

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For lots of us, when it comes to hand wash and toothpaste, if it’s not antibacterial it’s just not good enough. However if you tend to stock up on the stuff at a supermarket or chemists, you may be in for a shock. Many high street brands of antibacterial hand wash and toothpaste contain a potentially harmful chemical called ‘triclosan’ which is worrying the global medical community.

What is triclosan?

Triclosan is a synthetic anti-microbial agent that has seen increasingly widespread use since it was invented in the 1970’s. Included due to its strong antibacterial properties, triclosan can be found in many daily use products such as detergents, soaps, toothpastes, deodorants and cosmetics and is even found in some plastic chopping boards, food containers, fridge interiors, anti-odour socks and the handrails of escalators.

Why should I avoid triclosan?

High street antibacterial hand washes and toothpastes are something people use multiple times per day. Whilst this arguably helps to reduce the spread of germs, there are concerns that the widespread, low level use of products containing triclosan may be contributing to the increase of antibiotic resistance in some bacteria, notably MRSA.

What is particularly concerning is that although the European Union banned triclosan in materials that come into contact with food in 2010, products like toothpaste and mouthwash, which are ingested during use are still permitted to include this restricted ingredient.

Antibiotic resistance is a growing health concern that has become a serious global issue. Some health experts believe that one way to help combat this increasing threat could be to eliminate triclosan from our day to day life.

Triclosan may be particularly hazardous for pregnant women. A study by the American Chemical Society reveals the link between the compound and a decrease in newborn birth weights in animals. Study contributor Benny Pycke, of Arizona University said ‘evidence is increasingly showing the compounds can lead to developmental and reproductive problems in animals - and potentially in humans’.

Many scientists now believe that the positives of using strong antibiotic agents such as triclosan are outweighed by the negatives and damaging side effects of the chemical.

Luckily, not all antibacterial products contain triclosan or similar synthetic anti-microbial substances. Safe, natural ingredients such as Tea Tree, Myrrh, Fennel and Manuka have been used for centuries as an effective bacteria killing agent. Green People do not use triclosan in any of our products, relying instead on plant extracts with a long history of use to help control bacteria as part of a cleansing routine.

All of Green People’s toothpastes, for both adults and children, are free from triclosan. They use organic Myrrh, Clove, Fennel and Propolis (used by bees as a natural barrier against infection) to kill bacteria in the mouth. All of these ingredients have strong, natural antiseptic properties that keep the teeth and gums clean, fresh and healthy without synthetic chemicals.

Our Antibacterial Hand Wash is free from SLS, triclosan and irritating soap. It’s also pH balanced and gentle on even the most sensitive skin. With organic Lemon Tea Tree, Sweet Orange and Manuka, Green People’s Antibacterial Hand Wash works fast to kill harmful bacteria, without the risk of antibiotic resistant bugs or hormonal imbalance.

If you’re on the go and need a quick grime buster, we recommend the Organic Children Sticky Hand Sanitiser. With up to 200 squirts per bottle, this child friendly, no water hand sanitiser is fun, foaming and free from chemical nasties. Perfect for kids or adults, we think it’s a handbag must-have.

Want more information on triclosan? Please feel free to get in touch by leaving a comment below, or you can contact one of our friendly customer care team on 01403 740350 or email

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