What researchers have determined through a lab study on mice is really a big reason to worry for human beings. The study shows how dangerous a very common household product could be for our health. A chemical found in soaps, shampoos, toothpaste and many other everyday household products causes liver fibrosis and cancer in animals.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already conducted studies on triclosan, an antimicrobial agent, in the US because of its widespread use. Recent reports have raised serious health concerns, claiming that the chemical has great potential of disrupting hormones and impairing muscle function.
A safety review of the antibacterial soaps was called by the FDA last year. The agency passed on orders to manufacturers to show that use of such soaps is absolutely free from any health risk and they are more effective than plain soap and water. Also, the products were required to be re-labeled. The step was significant because many consumers have the perception that such soaps will help them stay protected from infections.
However, the new study from experts at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, has found that triclosan is also linked to cancer.
Findings of the study have been published by journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The researchers of the study have claimed that their findings are unassailable as triclosan caused liver fibrosis and cancer in lab mice. The most worrisome finding of the study is that the lethal diseases were caused by triclosan in the mice through molecular mechanisms that are also relevant in humans.
"Triclosan's increasing detection in environmental samples and its increasingly broad use in consumer products may overcome its moderate benefit and present a very real risk of liver toxicity for people, as it does in mice, particularly when combined with other compounds with similar action", said Study co-leader Doctor Robert Tukey, professor in the departments of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Pharmacology.
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