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Triclosan Can Wreak Havoc on Hormone Function

Posted on 4 March, 2016 at 15:35

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals are a serious concern, as they can promote a wide variety of health problems, including: breast, ovarian, prostate, and testicular cancer, preterm and low birth weight babies, precocious puberty in girls, and undescended testicles in boys.

According to Thomas Zoeller, a biology professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst who specializes in how chemicals affect the endocrine system, triclosan is one of the top 10 endocrine-disrupting chemicals used on a regular basis by most Americans. Hence, removing triclosan from the market could have a substantial impact on public health.

As noted by Professor Caren Helbing Ph.D. at the University of Victoria in Canada, the chemical structure of triclosan is similar to both thyroid hormones and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). This similarity allows it to attach to your hormone receptors.

Helbing's research shows that tadpoles exposed to triclosan suffered stunted development and leg deformations. The metamorphic process these frogs undergo is mediated by thyroid hormones.

Her findings were published in the Journal of Aquatic Toxicology11 in 2006, which concluded that: "Exposure to low levels of triclosan disrupts thyroid hormone-associated gene expression and can alter the rate of thyroid hormone-mediated postembryonic anuran development."

Triclosan has also been found in community water supplies. There, it breaks down forming certain forms of dioxin, which are toxic to aquatic life and humans alike.

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