What Is Triclosan & Is It Safe?



Triclosan is an antibacterial chemical added to products to lessen bacteria development, thereby increasing shelf life. It is also added to soaps and other antibacterial products.




What Products Have Triclosan In Them?

Triclosan can be found in:

  • Products labeled “antibacterial”

  • Cosmetics such as foundations, concealers, facial washes, soaps, and mascaras

  • Body care products, such as shampoo and conditioner

  • Household products, such as detergent and plastic kitchenware

  • Furniture

  • Toys

  • Medical devices

  • Acne medications

  • Disinfectant solutions 

Is Triclosan Safe?

Many studies show that triclosan may be toxic. In 2016, the FDA ruled that certain nonessential ingredients may not be safe for over-the-counter use. In 2017, the FDA banned nearly two dozen ingredients, which included triclosan and its derivative triclocarban, from being used in soaps, body washes, and antiseptic products intended to be used in a health care setting [1][2]. The rulings were in light of manufacturers’ failure to provide enough evidence that Triclosan was necessary and safe for human consumption. 

Health Impacts of Triclosan Products

Triclosan acts as an endocrine disruptor that can affect thyroid hormone homeostasis during fetal development and impact fetal growth and neurodevelopment [3]. It also can affect estrogen and testosterone function [4]. 

Additionally, Triclosan can lead to antibiotic resistance with excessive use [5]. Exposure to Triclosan may disrupt normal birth weight and height [6]. Million Marker categorizes triclosan as one of the chemicals to avoid.

Recommended Alternatives to Triclosan

Antibacterial products are not necessary for normal home and personal use. Soap and water will kill bacteria. 

  • Avoid all antibacterial products. 

  • You can find our recommended personal care and household products on our Approved Products list!

  • Purchase our test kit and learn about your harmful chemical exposures.


[1] https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2016/09/06/2016-21337/safety-and-effectiveness-of-consumer-antiseptics-topical-antimicrobial-drug-products-for
[2] https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/triclosan/faq-20057861
[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5495558/
[4] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29376079/
[5] https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/pressroom/newsreleases/2014/august/pregnant-women-and-fetuses-exposed-to-antibacterial-compounds-face-potential-health-risks.html
[6] https://journals.lww.com/environepidem/Fulltext/2019/10001/Effects_of_prenatal_exposure_to_triclosan_and.579.aspx