Medical Watch: Type of hand soap could have serious health effects

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wwltv.com

Posted on August 22, 2012 at 7:19 PM

Updated Wednesday, Aug 22 at 7:21 PM

Meg Farris / Eyewitness News
Email: mfarris@wwltv.com | Twitter: @megfarriswwl

NEW ORLEANS -- The type of soap you are using to wash your hands could have far reaching serious health effects.

A new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences finds that the active ingredient in antibacterial or antimicrobial soaps, called triclosan, impairs the ability of muscles cells in animals and humans. They say it keeps your thyroid hormone from working normally.

It goes into the skin, gets in the blood stream and breast milk. Both skeletal and heart muscles function were lowered. Fish didn't swim as well and mice lost a quarter of their heart strength and 18 percent of their grip strength.

Triclosan can also be found in mouth wash, toothpaste, bedding, kitchen utensils, and toys.

The FDA says antibacterial soap does not give health benefits over washing hands with regular soap.

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Doctors have known for a long time that older women have a higher risk of having babies with chromosomal disorders such as Down syndrome. Now a new study finds just about all of the new genetic mutations in children come from the father, and older fathers have children with more mutations. Most mutations do not cause health problems, but doctors say this probably contributes to disorders such as autism and schizophrenia.

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And finally, for years Wrinkle Free Friday has reported on how sun and tanning beds, not birthdays cause the skin damage that we think is normal aging but it's really ultra violet damage. Well instead of sun screen and hats and dark glasses, some women in China protect their skin from the wrinkles and sagging and spots caused by the sun with a full mask called Face-Kinis. This would also keep anyone from seeing you have a bad hair day.

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(pictures courtesy AFP/AFP/Getty Images)

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