Washington: Triclosan - an antibacterial chemical found in toothpaste and other products – put children at an increased risk of developing allergies, a new study has warned.
The new Norwegian study found similar associations between allergies and triclosan levels measured in children’s urine.
The study found that triclosan levels measured in urine were associated with elevated levels of Immunoglobulin E (IgE) and rhinitis (blocked nose/hay fever) in 10 year-olds.
623 urine samples were collected and measured at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, USA. Approximately 50 per cent of the Norwegian children had detectable levels of triclosan, while 80 per cent of American children had measurable levels.
Triclosan can change the bacterial flora on the skin, in the mouth and in the intestines. A change in the bacterial composition of "good" bacteria can cause an increased risk of developing allergies (hygiene hypothesis), the researchers said.
Therefore, increased use of triclosan and antibacterial products has generally been associated with an increased incidence of allergies.