Risks of the Common Chemical Triclosan

New Jersey Product Liability Lawyers weigh in on the risks of triclosan exposure.  A chemical commonly found in household products may be linked to the spread of colon cancer. Triclosan, an anti-microbial agent found in toothpaste, is considered safe, but new research has linked it to diseases affecting the digestive system. The chemical is extremely ubiquitous, so these risks need immediate attention.

Triclosan was first patented in 1964 and has become incredibly popular since then. It is an antifungal and antibacterial product, making it a useful additive to products such as toothpaste, mouthwash, detergent, and soap. It is even found in items such as bedding, toys, and socks, as it can help prevent the buildup of fungi and bacteria. Most Americans are exposed to triclosan in one way or another. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found triclosan in 75 percent of urine samples in a recent study, and it is also found in blood plasma and breast milk.

Studies Show Dangerous Alterations to Gut Microbiome

The recent focus on gut microbiome health made researchers wonder if triclosan’s antimicrobial properties could be harmful. The United States Geological Survey has labeled triclosan a contaminant of emerging concern, and a research team at the University of Massachusetts Amherst conducted a study involving a variety of mouse models that were exposed to low levels of the chemical.

All the mice used in the experiment experienced related results as exposure to the triclosan caused colitis, inflammation of the colon, and made symptoms worse than normal. In addition, triclosan helped advance the growth of colitis-associated tumors. One mouse was genetically engineered to spontaneously develop inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and the chemical fueled the development of the disease, suggesting that triclosan is even more of a risk for IBD patients.

Researchers took their study a step further to examine why triclosan promotes inflammation and tumor growth. Triclosan is known to promote significant changes in the gut microbiome in humans, and the research team observed equivalent results in the mice. They looked at the effects of triclosan in mice without a microbiome. They did not experience the same adverse symptoms as the others. Also, free of symptoms were mice that were deficient in toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4), which facilitates communication between the gut microbiome and its host.

Exposure is Unavoidable

These findings suggest that the changes triclosan causes in the microbiome can have disastrous consequences, particularly in those already affected by conditions like colon cancer and IBD. Both diseases are becoming more prevalent, which makes the need for further research even more urgent. Identifying triclosan exposure as a risk factor can help inform diagnoses and treatment. Until triclosan’s effects are better understood, many Americans will continue to be exposed to this potentially dangerous household product and may risk developing serious health complications.

New Jersey Product Liability Lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP Obtain Compensation for Victims of Chemical Exposure

If you have suffered harm due to exposure to a dangerous household product, call the New Jersey product liability lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP. Our knowledgeable, experienced lawyers will hold those responsible for your exposure accountable, and will determine if negligence played a role in your suffering. With offices conveniently located in Edison, Red Bank, and Toms River, New Jersey, we help victims and their families throughout the state. Call us today at 732-777-0100 or contact us online for a free consultation.