WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA) -- The jury is still out on triclosan, a common antibacterial ingredient. A study suggests the compound maycause a reduction in heart function and muscle strength.
However, the American Cleaning Institute (ACI) released a statement in response to the study, stating that "media reports and analysis of a new research paper are distorting the real world safety and everyday use of the antibacterial ingredient."
The researchers from the University of California and the University of Colorado based their conclusion off of negative reactions in mice. According to ScienceNews.org, the researchers first tested mice with less than 1 percent of the lethal dose for animals. The first mouse died of heart failure within one minute of being dosed.
After reducing the dose, they found that mice under anesthesia experienced up to a 25 percent reduction in heart function within just 20 minutes of exposure. In addition, the grip strength in the mice was reduced by 18 percent for up to an hour after exposure.
These tests were meant to simulate the level of triclosan that people are exposed to regularly when they use products such as toothpastes, antibacterial soaps, body washes and some cosmetics.
According to CBS News, triclosan is typically considered harmless because it is easily expelled from the body. However, for those who do not metabolize it as quickly, it can stay in the blood and cause harm. In addition, even as triclosan is leaving the body, it can still disrupt muscle function, especially in those with heart conditions.
Despite this evidence, the ACI insists that products containing triclosan are safe for everyday use. They state that years of research and regulation by the FDA and EPA has ensured that the product is not harmful.
The statement refers to a 2011 review by the European Commission's Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety, which found that "the use of triclosan at a maximum concentration of 0.3 percent in toothpastes, hand soaps, body soaps/shower gels and deodorant sticks is considered safe."
While these two groups butt heads on the issue, consumers should be aware of the potential risks of any chemicaland stay on top of research regarding the safety of the product.