Anti-Bacterial Soap Inhibits Testosterone Production

kid-washing-handsI was reading in the Mens Health magazine for May 2008 and came across an article called “Cleanliness is Next to Girliness” which goes a little something like this:

What’s on your washcloth? An antimicrobial ingredient in some soap may sap your testosterone levels, say University of California at Davis scientists. They found that when triclocarban enters a man’s bloodstream through his skin, it mimics testosterone, causing his body to ratchet down production of real T in response, say study author Bill Lasley. Ph.D.

Low testosterone has been linked to everything from infertility to depression. Go to for a full list of soaps and other toiletries that contain triclocarban.

The new study was published online this week by the journal Endocrinology (“Triclocarban enhances testosterone action: A new type of endocrine disruptor?“).

Now, before we get started, that UC Davis report says:

Triclocarban-containing products have been marketed broadly in the United States and Europe for more than 45 years; an estimated 1 million pounds of triclocarban are imported annually for the U.S. market.

Dial Complete Antibacterial Foaming Hand SoapSo, there is a lot of this crap floating around in the US. And according to the National Institute of Health, here is a list of products which contain this chemical:

Of course, that last one is the one I’ve been using for about 5 years! Oh, and to make matters worse, all over the house I’ve got Dial Antibacterial Foaming Soap. Guess what the active ingredient is? Yep.

The report also went on to say:

“This finding may eventually lead to an explanation for some rises in some previously described reproductive problems that have been difficult to understand,” said one author, Bill Lasley, a UC Davis expert on reproductive toxicology and professor emeritus of veterinary medicine. More analyses of antibacterials and endocrine effects are planned, he said.

Consumers should not take this study as guidance on whether to use triclocarban-containing products, Lasley said. “Our mothers taught us to wash our hands well before the advent of antimicrobial soaps, and that practice alone prevents the spread of disease.”

Now, they say that the following symptoms can result from low testosterone:

  • Low sex drive
  • Erectile dysfunction (ED)
  • Increased irritability or depression
  • Fatigue
  • Increased body fat
  • Loss of body and facial hair
  • Reduced muscle mass and strength
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Decreased bone density; osteoporosis

So, I don’t know about you, but I like my Testosterone. I dumped every freaking Dial product in my house, and I won’t be going back. Now I need to find some all natural soap that is devoid of all these freaking chemicals.

Article Written by
John P.

John P. is CEO of Livid Lobster and co-host of Geek Beat TV. You can also find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.


  1. name says:

    If your soap doesn’t list tricolosan in the ingredients and/or isn’t the “antibacterial” variety then you’re fine. Sheesh people.

  2. I know this web site offers quality depending articles
    and other stuff, is there any other web
    page which gives such data in quality?

  3. Stephan says:

    They still don’t list this stuff on the product?!

  4. CaliTom says:

    I’ve been using Dial body wash for men for a couple of years now and about 3 months ago I noticed my body hair was thinning. I’ve always had an abundant supply of body fuzz so it was alarming to realize that about half of it was missing. I tried looking up the causes on the internet and found it could be a wide range of things, even cancer. My doctor wasn’t too concerned and thought it was something called “telogen effluvium”. I thought my hair loss was related to my medicine to control my blood pressure and enlarged prostate but the doctor thought not. I’m thinking it could be the soap!!! I’ll stop using it immediately. Thanks to everyone for sharing.

  5. Adam says:

    I believe you got this all wrong. It was found that triclocarban ENHANCES the action of testosterone. It is hormonal disruption but this time different – it’s enhancing not blocking.

    • Stephen says:

      Thank you for pointing this out. Was seeing the same thing.

    • Jerr says:

      What I saw is that it fools the body into producing less testerone. Not good.

  6. patnjacky says:

    hi all curently I am trying to find out is there a list of antibacterial bar soaps that still clean but don’t strip away our testosterone? a lot of the other soaps seem to leave that nasty film on my skin but good ole dial lol leaves me sqeaky clean lol and apparently – some testosterone.thanks in advance for your replies

  7. rocketdoug says:

    Maybe this soap is the trick to slowing down the asian longhorn beetles and emerald ash borers that are eating our trees.

  8. Wow. Yet another reason for the handmade soap. ;)

  9. TALA says:

    I been using Dial bar soaps (Dial For Men, and other Dial antibacterial soap) for many months, well over a year now. My sex drive/Libido is at an all time low (no kidding). Been trying to figure out all possible causes, reasons for it…yet to no avail.

    Help: does anyone have a LIST of those specific products from Dial Corp, that contain the offending ingredient/chemical. Many Thanks!

  10. RHB says:

    Ironically another study years ago reported antibacterial soaps were little more effective than ordinary soap.
    So one company sells us the testosterone inhibiting soap and another sells viagara. hmm…

  11. TheDane says:

    Why would it still be legal to use these chemicals?

    I guess we gotta vote with our cash…


  12. AbiLogic says:

    He-he… I don’t see this products in the our shop-markets and can’t use any antibacterial soap production.

  13. John P. says:


    The dial soap that I have specifically lists triclocarban on it. Both the bar soap, and the foaming hand soap. So, if you don’t see it in the list the stuff you have is probably ok.


  14. John P. says:


    I’m with you Mark!


  15. Stands out of the way of the stampeding women rushing to get the soap for their other halves!

    Isn’t there a case here for over analysing. Anything and everything that we seem to test these days has something bad associated with it. What happened to the days when we just got on with things.

  16. Goran Giertz says:

    Thanks John. This is unfortunately the reality of our lives what we think is good is actually bad and vice versa. Eat healthy, exercise and do all those right things and then the “soap” that keeps you “clean” causes problems.

  17. sarah says:

    I cannot believe this. I have Dial soap in my bathroom but the ingredients did not list this. I’m thinking about doing a blog about this now.

  18. Mark Konen says:

    As an email subscriber to OMB you can’t even imagine how pissed off I got reading about the anti-microbial soap’s effect on testosterone production. I am convinced this is the most valuable chemical on the planet as everyone keeps trying to “take it away” from us. Bastards!

  19. Johnny says:

    It was interesting to know about these stuff, since I was before writing this comment a Zest Consumer, but now NOT anymore

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