EWG's Guide to Triclosan

Where is triclosan used?

Read more FDA has banned triclosan in antibacterial hand soaps, effective September 2017. But manufacturers still add triclosan to some dish soaps, personal care products and Colgate Total toothpaste. They use it in a variety of other products, although you won’t see it on labels. To avoid triclosan and other questionable chemicals, don’t buy consumer products that claim to be “antibacterial."

What health problems are associated to triclosan?

Triclosan is linked to liver and inhalation toxicity. Even low levels of triclosan may disrupt thyroid function. Wastewater treatment does not remove all of the chemical, sending it into lakes, rivers and water sources, where it is very toxic to aquatic life.



Forgo antibacterial soap.
The American Medical Association says not to use it at home.

Watch for triclosan (and triclocarban) in other personal care products.
Read ingredient labels and use Skin Deep® to find products free of triclosan and triclocarban, its chemical cousin.

Avoid “antibacterial” products.
Triclosan may still be compounded into everyday products such as dish washing soap, plastic cutting boards, food containers and shower curtains. These products won’t likely list ingredients, but a claim such as “antibacterial,” “odor-fighting” or “keeps food fresher, longer” often indicates the presence of triclosan.

Updated September 2016

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