New Delhi: Triclosan, a chemical having endocrine properties has been in use in various products including personal care, health care, sports items and household items. The varied applications of Triclosan are attributed to its anti-bacterial properties and hence, can also be used as a preservative. It is commonly used in hand washes, soaps, dish washing soaps, cosmetics, shampoos, deodorants, mouthwashes and toothpastes. There is growing evidence of its endocrine disruptive properties and many countries are now looking at phase out of this chemical. Select global manufacturers have also taken voluntary steps to phase out Triclosan from their products in view of its toxicity and environmental impacts.
Triclosan can lead to liver problems, depression and cancer and is being phased out in several countries.
In light of the above scenario, Toxics Link, an environmental research and advocacy organization conducted a study titled “Disrupting Triclosan: A Potential Endocrine Disrupting Chemical found in toiletries” on presence of Triclosan in samples of toothpastes and hand washes collected from Delhi – NCR region. As a part of the study, samples of toothpastes and hand washes were randomly collected from different markets of Delhi and sent for lab testing at Shriram Institute for Industrial Research (SIIR), Delhi.
The study found that, out of eleven samples of liquid soaps, one sample was found to have Triclosan concentration of 3068 ppm (0.3068%), higher than the BIS standards for cosmetics and raw materials & adjuncts IS 4707 (part 2). However in case of tooth pastes out of eleven samples, four samples contained high concentration of the chemical than as prescribed by BIS standards of 0.3 %. When kid’s toothpastes were tested, out of four random samples, only one was found to be having Triclosan concentration of 108 ppm (0.0108 %) which is much below as per the BIS standards. This is a disturbing trend that Triclosan is found in very high concentration in Tooth paste says Piyush Mohapatra Senior Program Coordinator, Toxics Link.
As a matter of fact, there are products available in the Indian markets that are labeled as “No Triclosan”, clearly establishing the fact that this is an unwanted toxic being used in products. As a preventive approach, many countries are discussing to phase out the use of Triclosan in personal care products. Triclosan in personal care products will eventually be discharged through waste water into our water streams and will adversely impact water quality which has a direct bearing on the health of people as well as animals and ecosystems at large. Thus when safer alternatives are available an initiative must be taken to regulate and gradually phase out the use of this chemical in various products says Satish Sinha, Associate Director Toxics Link.
Facts at a Glance:
The present study aims to give a perspective on the use of Triclosan in personal care products in India. Twenty two samples of toothpastes and hand washes (eleven each) and four samples of kids’ toothpastes were randomly collected from Delhi markets. Out of twenty two samples, 16 (72.8 %) samples were found to be having Triclosan in it.
In one of the liquid soap samples, Triclosan concentration was found to be as high as 3068 ppm. Out of eleven sample of toothpastes, four samples (36.4 %) were detected with high concentration of Triclosan, highest being 3180 ppm. In case of kids’ toothpastes, out of four samples, only one was detected with Triclosan concentration of 108 ppm (much below the BIS standards). There are products available in India labelled as no Triclosan.