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Nasty Ingredients


Triclocarban is an antibacterial agent used globally in personal care products like deodorising soap, detergents and toothpastes. Like triclosan, there are some concerns around its safety, and research is being undertaken to understand its potential for causing antibacterial resistance in harmful bacteria. We prefer to leave it out of our products.

Triclocarban is a synthetic ingredient that can be produced by reacting chemical compounds 3,4-Dichlorophenyl isocyanate and 4-Chloroaniline, and usually appears in the form of a white powder that's insoluble in water. It has general bacteristatic and fungistatic activity, which means it's able to target the cell membrane of certain bacteria, interfering with their structure and functions and inhibiting growth.

In 2017, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned the use of triclocarban in consumer soaps and washes, along with triclosan and 17 other antibacterial chemicals, due to insufficient evidence of their safety for everyday use, or proven effectiveness over plain soap and water. This has led to many manufactuers reformulating with one of three alternative antibacterial ingredients (which were exempted from the FDA ban due to industry pressure): benzalkonium chloride, benzethonium chloride, and chloroxylenol (EWG rates these ingredients as Moderate Hazards with safety scores of 3 - 5). There are also some concerns about triclocarban's potential as an endocrine diruptor.

Environmentally, triclocarban and triclosan are known to be persistent pollutants, and in the environment they can be converted into hazardous compounds, including chloroform and chlorinated anilines, and become very toxic to aquatic life.

Other names: C13H9Cl3N2O, TCC, Trichlorocarbanilide

Chemical class: Amides


United States Food and Drug Administration, HHS. (2016). Safety and Effectiveness of Consumer Antiseptics; Topical Antimicrobial Drug Products for Over-the-Counter Human Use. Retrieved on 23 November, 2021 from

Vasantha Padmanabhan, Jacob Moeller, Muraly Puttabyatappa. Chapter Eight - Impact of gestational exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals on pregnancy and birth outcomes. Editor(s): Laura N. Vandenberg, Judith L. Turgeon, Advances in Pharmacology, Academic Press, Volume 92, 2021, Pages 279-346, ISSN 1054-3589, ISBN 9780128234662,

G. McDonnell. Sterilization and Disinfection. Editor(s): Moselio Schaechter, Encyclopedia of Microbiology (Third Edition), Academic Press, 2009, Pages 529-548, ISBN 9780123739445,

National Center for Biotechnology Information (2021). PubChem Compound Summary for CID 7547, Triclocarban. Retrieved November 23, 2021 from

INCI Name:
Ingredient origins:
Antimicrobial Agent
Common name:
EWG score: The EWG score is a hazard score ranging from 1-2 (low hazard), 3-6 (moderate hazard) and 7-10 (high hazard) published by the Environmental Working Group. Their data is sourced from the Skin Deep® database and studies published in open scientific literature.