A chemical banned from hand sanitizers may double a woman’s chances of developing bone disease osteoporosis, a new study claims.
Women with high exposure to triclosan were more likely to have bone issues, with Chinese researchers associating the ingredient commonly used in consumer products with a twofold increase in the chance of developing bone density issues and osteoporosis.
The analysis of over 1,800 adult US women, published Tuesday in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, also unsurprisingly suggested older women with higher levels of triclosan in their urine were more at risk of having weaker bones.
The hormone-disrupting chemical is commonly used in household items such as soap, mouthwash, and hand sanitizers thanks to its antibacterial properties.
Trace elements of it can also be found in clothing, kitchenware, cosmetics, and toys with the intention of fighting germs.
“We have detected that the highest triclosan levels in the urine were associated with a lower bone mineral density in the femur and the lumbar spine,” lead researcher Yingjun Li from Hangzhou Medical College School of Public Health told HealthDay.
In 2016, the Food and Drug Administration banned triclosan from being used in over-the-counter soaps after tests in animals found it disrupted hormones and contributed to the development of antibiotic-resistant germs.
In April, the FDA also issued a rule banning it from being used in hand sanitizers in the US — with evidence finding it is effective at reducing gingivitis.
Li said this was the first study to investigate the relationship between triclosan and human bone health.