Triclosan is a chemical used as a preservative and as an anti-bacterial agent in cosmetics and health products like soaps and body washes despite a lack of evidence that it provides any benefits over washing with soap that does not contain triclosan.
Over the years there has been a lot of controversy over whether or not this ingredient leads to antibiotic resistance, an unhealthy microbiome or a disrupted endocrine system.
The US banned this ingredient in hand soap in 2016, however, still allows it in toothpaste. Although the Canadian Medical Association has called for a ban of consumer products containing triclosan it is still widely used here in Canada.
Because the amount allowed in Canadian products is so low it's said that the amount we're exposed to is not toxic for our health despite evidence that triclosan can build up in our system over time.
The maximum amount of triclosan allowed in products in Canada is:
However what is not debatable, unclear, or murky is the toxic effect this ingredient has on our environment.
According to the Government of Canada when products like toothpaste and soap containing triclosan are washed down the drain it harms plants and animals in our water systems.