It’s too little too late, but this is what the FDA has to say about triclosan. They haven’t yet determined that it’s hazardous to human health, but based on recent studies they’re investigating further. (So is the EPA, for that matter.) They’re not formally recommending that you discontinue use of your favorite hand sanitizer, but they do state that they don’t have any evidence that hand sanitizers or antibacterial soaps containing triclosan provide any health benefits at all.
The bottom line: You can do just as much to protect yourself from germs and the spread of disease by using good old-fashioned soap and water. By making the switch from an antibacterial soap and hand sanitizer to a more traditional soap, you may be protecting yourself from heart problems and hormone disruptions and you may also be doing your small part to fight drug-resistant bacteria.
You might save money, too – a 10-pack of Ivory soap is under forty cents a bar at big-box stores, while a single 35-oz. dispenser of antibacterial body wash is nearly $6.
When you’re in a situation where you can’t wash your hands with soap and water, but need to get them clean, try carrying alcohol-based hand wipes that are free of triclosan. Washing your hands the way your mother taught you to offers a lot of potential benefits and zero drawbacks.
You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Use plain old soap and water when you can, and turn to alcohol-based hand wipes when you can’t.