The researchers of the Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad have found the harmful substance - Triclosan - in the daily-used products of toothpaste, soaps and deodorants.
The research findings were recently published in a leading high-impact scientific journal, ‘Chemosphere’, published from the United Kingdom. The researchers headed by Dr Anamika Bhargava, Associate Professor of the Department of Biotechnology, found that adding triclosan 500 times less than the permissible limit can damage the human nervous system.
Triclosan is an anti-bacterial and anti-microbial agent and impacts the nervous system of the human body. The chemical can be found even in kitchenware and clothes, although its initial use in the 1960s was restricted to medical care products.
Recently, the Food and Drug Administration if the United States reviewed the evidence against triclosan and imposed a partial ban on its use. However, there is no such regulation on triclosan-based products in India, so far.
The IIT researchers said that triclosan can be taken in very small doses, but can be very dangerous due to the presence of the chemical in everyday usage items.
The research was conducted on zebrafish, which have immunity similar to human immunity.
“The study reveals that triclosan in minute amounts cannot only affect the genes and enzymes involved in neurotransmission, but it can also damage the neurons. This can affect the motor function of an organism,” said Dr Anamika Bhargava.