Triclosan, the chemical in consumer goods that was banned from hand sanitizers, may be linked to osteoporosis.
According to a new study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.
Triclosan is an endocrine-disrupting chemical that was used as an antibacterial agent in products such as soap, mouthwash, and toothpaste.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned it from certain body washes and bar soaps. The FDA also issued a banTrusted Source this year on the chemical in over-the-counter hand sanitizers.
Other studies have shown a link between endocrine disruptor chemicals (EDCs) and osteoporosis, but no study to date looked at triclosan, said Yingjun Li, PhD, a faculty member at the Hangzhou Medical College School of Public Health in China and one of the recent study’s authors.
Her team examined data from 1,848 premenopausal and postmenopausal women in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Women with higher levels of triclosan in their urine were more likely to have bone issues, the researchers stated.
Li noted that their research is preliminary.
“We used a cross-sectional design, which wasn’t suitable to establish cause-and-effect relationships.
We can’t say triclosan exposure will cause osteoporosis,” Li said.
Li plans to study the association further.
The researchers noticed a significantly elevated prevalence of osteoporosis only in the intertrochanter, an area of the femur.
Li said that correlates with the fact that maximal reduction in bone mass density occurred in the intertrochanter.
“This may indicate that triclosan exposure has more influence on the intertrochanter than other regions on the femur. However, no mechanistic studies supporting our hypothesis were found for now,” she said.