What is it?

“Triclosan (sometimes abbreviated as TCS), similar in its uses and mechanism of action to triclocarban… It has the chemical formula C12H7Cl3O2.” Wikipedia

What are the effects?

This substance belongs to the groups:

The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC) concludes that triclosan is toxic for living organisms, does not degrade at wastewater treatment plants, have been found in human breast milk and in gallows of fish, and yet, the long-term environmental risks are still uncertain.

Surfejs, an information site about hygiene and cosmetics products by SSNC, list the substance as an endocrine disruptor.

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) classifies triclosan as “very toxic to aquatic life with long lasting effects, causes serious eye irritation and causes skin irritation.”

The substance is restricted for use in cosmetic products in Canada; max concentration permitted i 0.03 %, and should not be swallowed or used on children under the age of 12.


Even though it is not listed on the ingredient labels, products with triclosan may contain toxic impurities from:

  • Chloroform – linked to cancer, organ system toxicity, irritation (skin, eyes and lungs), damaged fertility, developmental toxicity, bioaccumulation, and environmental hazards.
  • 1,4- dioxane – linked to cancer.

How is it used?

Triclosan is used in various consumer products, such as kitchen utensils, detergents and toys.

In cosmetics, it is most commonly be found in oral products like toothpaste and mouthwashes, but it also exist in products like shampoos, deodorants and soaps. The substance is mainly used in products formulations as a preservative; it prevents bacterial growth.

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.