Triclocarban is used to kill bacteria. It was previously a common ingredient in bar soaps labeled as "antibacterial" or "antimicrobial," but this use was banned by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as of September 2017. This is because there are no extra health benefits of using soap with triclocarban compared to ordinary soap, and the wide use of antibacterials poses health concerns. Some other personal care products, like cosmetics, as well as some clothing and pet grooming sprays, may still contain triclocarban.
Triclocarban is found in:
- Some deodorant bar soap made prior to the FDA ban.
- Some personal care products, like cosmetics.
- Some clothing, such as pantyhose.
- One type of pet grooming spray used to reduce scratching and biting of irritated skin.
Possible health concerns of triclocarban:
- May interfere with the body’s natural hormones.
- May make it harder for antibiotics to fight infections. This is because overuse of triclocarban and other antibacterials may cause changes in bacteria that make them harder to kill.
Possible ways to reduce exposure to triclocarban:
- Avoid consumer products and personal care products labeled “antibacterial” or “antimicrobial.”
- Check labels on personal care products and pet sprays, and avoid those that list triclocarban as an ingredient.
- If you can’t tell from the label whether a product contains triclocarban, contact the manufacturer.