Researchers at Virginia Tech University find evidence that a variety of consumer products, such as some toothpastes, dishwashing liquids, and antimicrobial soaps, produce chloroform gas when triclosan in these products reacts with chlorinated water. Chloroform can cause depression, liver problems, and cancer when inhaled or absorbed through the skin.
The Hundred-Year Lie by Randall Fitzgerald, pg. 85
Triclosan is now in a range of consumer products, including soaps, kitchen cutting boards and even a best-selling toothpaste, Colgate Total. It is so prevalent that a survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found the chemical present in the urine of 75 percent of Americans over the age of 5.
Several studies have shown that triclosan may alter hormone regulation in laboratory animals or cause antibiotic resistance, and some consumer groups and members of Congress want it banned in antiseptic products like hand soap. The F.D.A. has already said that soap with triclosan is no more effective than washing with ordinary soap and water, a finding that manufacturers dispute.
“Antibacterial Chemical Raises Safety Issues” by Andrew Martin, The New York Times. Aug. 19, 2011.