Triclosan research: industry fights back

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Personal care products, Science, Hygiene, Scientific method

In response to the latest scientific study on Triclosan, one of Europe’s leading manufacturers is stressing the importance of how such research is interpreted.

Over the years a plethora of scientific research has pointed to the fact that, when studied under laboratory conditions, mega doses of Triclosan can be toxic.

In response, Klaus Nussbaum, global business head of hygiene at Switzerland-based Ciba, one of the leading suppliers of Triclosan, has jumped to the defense of this anti-bacterial ingredient.

Amongst several criticisms made about the studies, Nussbaum and the team at Ciba point to the fact that the mega dose levels at which toxicity is evident are significantly higher than the levels used in personal care products.

Triclosan is effective at low doses

“Triclosan is effective at very low concentration levels and therefore the amount used to produce results in consumer products are hundreds of times lower than doses showing effects in animals,”​ Nussbaum added.

The team at Ciba is eager to emphasise that in most personal care products the dosing level of Triclosan is normally at 0.1 per cent to 0.2 per cent.

Accumulative effect of Triclosan

Furthermore, the team at Ciba also say that, thanks to extensive testing on different animals and human volunteers, they have evidence refuting allegations that concurrent use of several personal care products containing Triclosan can lead to accumulated levels of the substance that can be potentially dangerous.

“With repeated uses of Triclosan containing personal care products, the blood in circulation will carry an amount of Triclosan reflecting the frequency and number of products used,”​ said Nussbaum.

“However, studies show this level to be 200 to 300 times lower than the levels shown to have an effect in the recent animal studies.”

Nussbaum also points out that blood concentration will even decrease below analytical measurement levels as soon as Triclosan is no longer used by an individual.

“We, along with other experts and government agencies, have made our safety determination using the estimated total Triclosan exposure a person could receive if every personal care product used daily contained triclosan.

“The long history of positive human-use experience with Triclosan speaks clearly, that consumer products with Triclosan do not harm human health.”

In view of this the research team at Ciba believes that the scientific research carried out on Triclosan can be misleading and open to misinterpretation, even taking into account heavy use of products containing Triclosan.

Related topics: Formulation & Science

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