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2D structural formula of Triclocarban


What is it?

“Triclocarban, 3-(4-chlorophenyl)-1-(3,4-dichlorophenyl)urea, chemical formula C13H9Cl3N2O, is a white powder that is insoluble in water.” Wikipedia

What are the effects?

This substance belongs to the groups:

Triclocarban is restricted for use in cosmetics in the EU. “Maximum concentration in ready for use preparation” allowed CosIng  is 1,5%. CosIng is the European Commission database for information on cosmetic substances and ingredients.

Triclocarban is classified as an endocrine disruptor and is on the Red List from Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a project of Breast Cancer Prevention Partners (previously the Breast Cancer Fund).

On a scale from low, moderate, high and very high, triclocarban is classified as; ‘Moderate for endocrine disruption’, ‘Moderate for systemic toxicity (repeated dose)’, ‘Moderate for skin irritation/corrosivity’, ‘Very High for chronic aquatic toxicity’, and ‘High for persistence’, by the  Canadian Environmental Law Association.

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has registered triclocarban as “very toxic to aquatic life with long lasting effects.”

How is it used?

Triclocarban is used as a cosmetic biocide, preservative (disinfectant in products), antibacterial and deodorant agent (decreases or masks unpleasant body odours) in cosmetic products*. But the substance is most commonly found as an antibacterial agent in products. It can be found in products such as bar and liquid soaps, deodorants, acne treatments, and facial cleansers. Because of its antibacterial properties, the substance is also used in the medical field.

We use the European Commissions definition of Cosmetics:
“Cosmetics range from everyday hygiene products such as soap, shampoo, deodorant, and toothpaste to luxury beauty items including perfumes and makeup”.

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Read about the other ingredients.