Over the last few years, triclosan has been the subject of much debate. Those in favour of these products hail their ability to keep bacteria at bay. Those against suggest there is no real benefit in everyday consumer home use whereas the risks -- both to humans and the environment -- are too great.
Triclosan is the main ingredient in "antibacterial" soaps. It has the ability to kill as well as prevent the growth of harmful microbes. Over the years, the shine of triclosan has faded due to a combination of problems found in the lab. A natural alternative to triclosan has been growing in both presence and popularity.
The term "antibacterial" has been used since the 1940s but only gained a hold of the market in the mid-1990s thanks to the widespread use of the antibacterial agent triclosan. But triclosan has a dark side that has only come to light in the last decade. The scientific literature has been peppered with articles showing the potential side effects to triclosan use.