Were you taught to sing the alphabet while washing your hands?
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What You Need to Know

Triclosan is number two on our list because of the impact we believe you can have. One swoop around the house - check products around the bathroom and kitchen sinks, and in purses and backpacks - and you likely will find this culprit.

Triclosan is a man-made antimicrobial chemical designed to kill germs (but not viruses, which are the causes of colds and flu). The kicker? Studies show that it’s no more effective than plain soap and water at killing germs. So, ditch the extra disinfecting products and just use old-fashioned soap! You can always check labels for triclosan, because as a registered pesticide (again, WHY is this in our household products?!), it’s required to be listed on product labels.

Triclosan is also a prime suspect in contributing to the rise of superbugs, which are bacteria and viruses that have become resistant to the antimicrobial tools developed to fight them.soap.jpg

Where to Start

  • Antibacterial or antimicrobial hand & dish soaps
  • Toothpastes
  • Deodorants
  • Shaving product
  • Color cosmetics
  • Creams

Dive a Little Deeper

Triclosan is an endocrine disruptor and it’s been found in blood and breast milk, which means that women can pass this chemical on to their babies in the womb and through breast feeding.

On top of being an endocrine disruptor  it’s persistent. That means it doesn’t break down easily in the environment. As a result, triclosan is linked to the contamination of water and a negative impact on fragile aquatic ecosystems.

It’s also bioaccumulative, which means that it builds up in our bodies.

In addition, triclosan has been linked to the progression of breast cancer cells.

And the nail in the coffin for triclosan: it’s been banned in Japan, the E.U. and the State of Minnesota. However, the FDA and the EPA rejected a consumer petition to ban triclosan in the U.S. As consumers we are often left as voueyers of a tennis match of information. Savvy's place is to choose wiser when we can, to stay up-to-date and to decide for ourselves while our world unfolds. 

So, to recap: it sticks around, it builds up, we can pass it on to our babies, and it’s linked to some serious health concerns in and out of our homes.  

Learn More

Does your mind crave more? Below are a few more links we thought you might find interesting. This isn't a complete listing, but offers threads to continue the conversation.

  • FDA Taking a Closer Look at “Antibacterial” Soap There are indications that certain ingredients in these soaps may contribute to bacterial resistance to antibiotics, and may have unanticipated hormonal effects that are of concern to FDA.
  • Beyond Pesticides This triclosan overview has excellent links to the latest news on Triclosan studies and bans. Check out the “Updates From the Daily News Blog” on the right hand side.
  • Campaign for Safe Cosmetics A great overview of the health issues that triclosan is linked to and also sites the sources if you’d like to read the studies this data is derived from.

Savvy Members

Looking for some hand washing alternatives? The Savvy Marketplace offers a variety of soap, cleaning products, toothpaste, deodorants, shaving products, cosmetics, and lotion brand recommendations.  


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Savvy's Mugshots shares harmful chemicals found in everyday products and those which you can reduce your exposure through action.
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