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What is an endocrine disruptor?

The endocrine glands secrete hormones into the blood. Hormones are chemical messengers.  The endocrine glands are the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, pineal gland, thyroid gland, parathyroid gland, adrenal gland, pancreas and gonads.  When the endocrine system is not working properly, reproductive issues and illnesses can occur. There are many environmental chemicals that we are exposed to daily that suppress a part of the endocrine system.  These are called ENDOCRINE DISRUPTORS.

What is triclosan?

Triclosan is an antimicrobial most notably found in hand sanitizers, but also commonly found in personal care products and hand soaps among other products.  You will find this product in the hand sanitizers in bathrooms, public places, schools – almost everywhere.  A dirty dozen hormone disruptor member, triclosan has been scrutinized more closely after having been found in breast milk, blood and urine samples.

Effects of triclosan

In a study on female rats, even small doses of triclosan were shown to enhance the effects of estrogen, and to accelerate puberty age.  Triclosan also suppressed thyroid hormones.
On a similar study on male rats, while there was no adjustment found in advancing the age of puberty, the secretion of thyroid hormone, T4 was suppressed. The thyroid hormones, T3 and T4, are necessary for normal growth and development and cell metabolism.  T4 is produced more than T3 in the thyroid, and T4 is eventually converted into T3, so it is an important hormone!
The thought of triclosan coming up in blood tests, breast milk and urine is concerning, especially when you look at where you see hand sanitizers – everywhere. Hand sanitizers are given to children (and adults) at birthday parties, classrooms, and in public settings to wash their hands.  Triclosan is a chemical that you have to go out of your way to avoid.  Since triclosan is entering the body, it is especially worrisome for pregnant women and newborns, when life begins.  Further research is being conducted on this topic.
In the meantime, you can look at your personal care labels and hand sanitizers for this chemical and avoid using anything with triclosan as an ingredient.  Soap and water always works best!
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