Triclosan is a chemical commonly used in antibacterial consumer goods and personal care products, such as hand sanitizer, soaps, mouthwash, and toothpaste.
In a study from China, researchers found this chemical may increase people’s risk of osteoporosis, a condition that causes bones to become thin, weak and fragile.
The study is published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. One author is Yingjun Li.
Osteopenia is a health problem when bone mineral density is lower than normal. People with the disease may have broken bones even just after a minor bump or accident.
Bones fracture can lead to chronic pain, disability, loss of independence and premature death.
Women aged 50 are four times more likely to have the condition than men of the same age.
Previous research has shown that the chemical may have harmful effects on the bone mineral density in cell lines or in animals.
But little is known about the relationship between triclosan and human bone health.
In this study, the team examined data from 1,848 women. They found that women exposed to the chemical were more likely to develop osteoporosis.
The team warns that a person can be exposed to triclosan via consumer products and contaminated water.
The FDA has banned triclosan from over-the-counter hand sanitizer in recent years.
This is the first epidemiological study to test the link between triclosan exposure and osteoporosis in a nationally representative sample from U.S. adult women.
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