Can Washing your Hands Lead to Infertility?
According to an article published in the December 2007 Journal Endocrinology it can.
You see, an ingredient within many antibacterial soaps has been shown to interfere with our endocrine system. This ingredient you ask? Triclocarbon (or triclosan, and in some products referred to as microban), a common ingredient in many products. By some accounts Triclosan is found in75 percent of liquid soaps and 30 percent of bar soaps, as well as in toothpastes, acne creams, deodorants and lotions. It can also be incorporated into a wide range of consumer products like toys, cutting boards, toothbrush handles, hot tubs and athletic clothing.
In a study on human cells in the lab, triclosan seemed to increase gene expression that was normally regulated by testosterone. In rat studies organs that are dependent on testosterone (like the prostate) were enlarged. Both studies were done by The University California-Davis, and researchers concluded that unlike normal endocrine disruptors that bind to cell receptors, Triclosan actually amplifies the response of our naturally occurring hormones. This can lead to depression of natural estrogen and androgen production.
Another study done by a molecular biologist at British Columbia’s University of Victoria, found that while triclosan isn’t in fact lethal in small doses, it can also affect the thyroid.
My advice: wash your hands with regular soap. Antibacterial soaps haven’t proven to be any more effective.
This post is linked to Katie’s Spring Cleaning Carnival (to which I am very late – it went up yesterday!) so if you’d like to read many other reasons why NOT to use antibacterial soaps, head over there to check them out by clicking on the picture above.
Also on the same note, if you haven’t read last weeks guest post “Sterilizing Life”, you should!