We sought to quantify absorption of triclosan, a potential endocrine disruptor, in health care workers with occupational exposure to soap containing this chemical.
A cross-sectional convenience sample of two groups of 38 health care workers at separate inpatient medical centers: hospital 1 uses 0.3% triclosan soap in all patient care areas; hospital 2 does not use triclosan-containing products. Additional exposure to triclosan-containing personal care products was assessed through a structured questionnaire. Urine triclosan was quantified and the occupational contribution estimated through regression modeling.
Occupational exposure accounted for an incremental triclosan burden of 206 ng/mL (P = 0.02), while triclosan-containing toothpaste use was associated with 146 ng/mL higher levels (P < 0.001).
Use of triclosan-containing antibacterial soaps in health care settings represents a substantial and potentially biologically relevant source of occupational triclosan exposure.