Last Updated on December 20, 2020 by The Health Master
Hyderabad: Toothpaste, soaps, and even deodorants having the chemical triclosan, an anti-bacterial and anti-microbial agent, can impact the nervous system in humans, researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad (IIT-H), have found. They say that the chemical, even when used well within the permissible limits, can pose a huge threat to the quality of life.
Triclosan is used in several consumer products to increase their shelf life by stopping the growth of unwanted micro-organisms, which might degrade the product. The researchers found that while the permissible limit of triclosan is 0.3 per cent in India, it’s usage, even 500 times lower than the permissible limit, can cause potent neurotoxic effects. The research findings were recently published in the peer-reviewed journal ‘Chemosphere’ of the United Kingdom.
“A person’s motor functions such as walking and behaviour can be directly affected by the usage of triclosan. The chemical affects the structure of neurons and the architecture of the brain that controls all motor skills. Even though 0.3 per cent of triclosan is used in many products, it still poses a risk to human health,” IIT-H associate professor, department of biotechnology, Anamika Bhargava said.
Triclosan exists even in kitchenware and clothes although its initial use in the 1960s was restricted to medical care products. Generally, in very low amounts, triclosan might be well tolerated by humans, but the use of triclosan-based products on a daily basis poses a big risk to humans in the long term.
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In 2017, the Food and Drug Administration in the US reviewed the evidence against triclosan and imposed a partial ban on its use. However, India lacks any such regulation so far on the use of triclosan-based products. “At this concentration, it can be toxic and cause neuro-behavioural alterations in humans. Through our study, we caution usage of triclosan and suggest restricted usage or ban in India to prevent a long term damage,” Anamika added.