Consumer News

Toothpaste, Cosmetics Linked To Osteoporosis

Some clothes and personal care products, such as soaps, hand sanitizers, toothpaste and mouthwash, may expose the body to a chemical linked to fragile bones in adults, especially women. A new study highlights the harmful effect of triclosan that may increase the risk of having osteoporosis. 

The chemical is commonly used to reduce bacterial contamination in cosmetics and other consumer goods. The study, published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, shows that women are at higher risk of developing osteoporosis when exposed to triclosan. 

The bone disease commonly leads to poor bone mineral density, which then puts a person at an increased risk for fractures, back pain and loss of height.

"Laboratory studies have demonstrated that triclosan may have potential to adversely affect the bone mineral density in cell lines or in animals,” Yingjun Li, study author from Hangzhou Medical College School of Public Health in China, said in a statement. “However, little is known about the relationship between triclosan and human bone health."

For the study, the researchers analyzed data from 1,848 women collected between 2005 and 2010. The researchers said that triclosan potentially affected bone health by interfering with the function of the thyroid, CNN reported Tuesday.

The disrupted thyroid have been linked to bone loss and an increase in a person's risk for fracture, according to previous studies. In the latest study, the women who had high levels of the chemical in their urine showed higher risks of having bone issues later in life. 

The researchers said their study is the first to determine the connection between human bone health and triclosan. 

"As far as we know, this is the first epidemiological study to investigate the association between triclosan exposure with bone mineral density and osteoporosis in a nationally representative sample from U.S. adult women," Li said. 

In April, the Food and Drug Administration banned the use of triclosan in over-the-counter hand sanitizers in the country. The FDA started to restrict the use of the chemical in consumer products in 2016 due to lack of evidence for its safety for long-term use. 

However, people can also be exposed to the chemical through contaminated water.

toothbrush A chemical commonly used in personal care products, such as soaps, hand sanitizers, toothpaste, and mouthwash, has been found increasing the risks of developing osteoporosis in women. Pixabay

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