There is a synthetic antibacterial chemical that is being compared to Agent Orange from the Vietnam War. The EPA has labeled it an extremely toxic pesticide. But, this chemical is used quite a bit in many household products, including antibacterial soaps that we use daily. The chemical belongs to a grouping of chemicals called chlorophenol, which are cancer causing type agents. It is called “triclosan or triclocarban,” which has been linked, in mice, to paralysis, brain hemorrhages, heart problems, immune systems, and male sexual health problems, like erectile dysfunction.
The Prevalence of Triclosan
Triclosan is used in everyday products because of its innate ability to kill harmful germs and as a successful antifungal chemical. It is often used in deodorant bar soaps that are popular brand named soaps, such as Colgate, Dial, Zest, Mountain Fresh, Safeguard, and Lever 2000. In 2013, the FDA moved to issue a rulemaking proposal to make soap manufacturers prove that their soaps, liquid hand soaps, and many other antibacterial products are safe and that they don't pose a health risk to hormones, concentrating mainly on the reputation of their use of tricolosan. The reason the FDA took this approach, was to show that many antibacterial manufacturers do not adequately test their products, where it pertains to endocrine disrupting chemicals, like tricolosan.
Lab Results on Triclosan Use
Clinical researchers are not suggesting that we do away with the whole use of antibacterial soaps that men favor in their shower and bath habits, instead they say that limited use of antibacterial soaps are beneficial. They believe that for the average male, antibacterial soap products are no more effective than regular soap. Also, the Center for Disease Control believes that antibacterial soap is not necessary. They state it is better to follow a basic hand washing hygiene rule to wash our hands often. But, the lab results, on mice, show that prolonged exposure to triclocarban affected the male rates sexual organs. Men are exposed to triclocarban through the skin when they use antibacterial soaps on a daily basis. In male adult mice, the triclosan chemical affected their sperm count, caused harm to their reproductive organs, and disrupted their hormone products. Since humans and mice have similar hormone systems, the triclosan chemical may also interrupt or lower male sexual hormones, like testosterone.
Low Testosterone Symptoms
Testosterone is the male sex hormone, which is responsible for male sexual health and function. In male sexual functions, low testosterone can cause many dysfunctions. Some signs of low testosterone, involve:
- Decreased bone density or osteoporosis
- Erectile dysfunction
- Inability to concentrate
- Increased body fat
- Increased irritability or depression
- Loss of body and facial hair
- Low sex drive
- Reduced muscle mass and strength
Accumulated Antibacterial Soap Symptoms
Scientists state that triclosan levels are already in our bodies. But triclocarban increases after we continually use antibacterial soaps containing this chemical and surveys have found out that men enjoy using antibacterial soaps. Further lab experiments in mice and other animals, found that triclosan caused abnormal contractions in the animal's heart muscles and their skeletal muscle tendons and cells. Normal electrical stimulation of muscle fibers causes muscle contractions, but when triclosan is introduced, the regular or normal stimulation is impaired.
Triclocarban and Male Horomone Levels
Even though the chemical triclosan is designed to prevent bacterial infections, especially in healthcare industries, it is suggested that men not use anti-bacterial products everyday, throughout the day on their body's. The chemical makeup of triclosan is considered toxic because its cellular structures resembles other toxin that men and women are asked to watch out for, which could be potential health risks. Triclosan and triclocarban interferes with male health hormone system in different ways, such as its harmful effect on the thyroid hormone. Triclocarban is unique in its disruptive hormone chemicals because it does not affect the hormones directly, but has shown to enhance the activity of hormones, like estrogen and testosterone, that cause erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation.
Antibacterial Soap Down The Drain
Rather than reverting to male enhancement products or male enhancement ingredients, researchers, suggest that men reduce the use of any soaps that contain triclosan. The triclosan and triclocarbon chemical has been used for years in many products that we use every day. But its effects on being washed down our drains, is now being researched. After being washed down the drain, it flows into the country's treatment plants and is accumulated in large amounts of sludge, which does not break down. Thus, it could end up spreading to agricultural fields as a fertilizer, then making its way into our diets.
Do We Need Antibacterial Soaps?
Antibacterial soaps don't just kill harmful bacteria, but it has been found that they also destroy some of the good bacteria on our skins. The human skin is the largest organ of the human body and it absorbs many substances into our body, every day. A large portion of bacteria that lives on our skin is designed to help our immune systems, so when we use anti-bacterial soaps that contain the triclosan chemical, it will destroy the healthy layer of skin oil that protects us. The American Medical Association also questions the daily use of antibacterial soaps for men and women.
Continued Research on Antibacterial Soaps
Men use antibacterial soaps because of their antiperspirant and anti-deodorant properties. Triclosan is an active ingredient in most of these types of soaps that are widely used and marketed today. Laboratories have discovered that triclosan can cause some bacteria to become resistant to many antibiotics. In 1993, the U.S. Federal Government approved the use of this controversial chemical for its antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. However, in the past 20 years, adult males in the U.S. have experienced a third low drop in testosterone levels. Scientists state that, yes there are other environmental causes for reduced testosterone levels, which is why the FDA is aggressively pursuing the triclosan review process, well into 2016.
To answer the question, everyone is asking – Really! Soap Causes Erectile Dysfunction? The Food and Drug Administration is still conducting research into Triclosan to see how greatly its effects are in humans and in sexual dysfunctions, like erectile dysfunction. Many top manufacturers have phased out this chemical from their products. However, health agencies just ask men and women to read the lable. Legally, manufacturers who still use triclosan in any of their products, are required to identify it on their product labels. Researcher's state that we need to read the label on everything we use today, because we are bombarded with what could become toxic ingredients, that we all must take a lead in reducing our exposures by adopting an organic lifestyle.
Note: This is a guest post by Willo Conner. You may visit his website at ConsumerHealthDigest.com. Want to submit a guest post? Read HealthResource4u guest submission guidelines.