An additive found in many liquid hand soaps and other common household products has been linked to cancer in a new study.
Triclosan is an antimicrobial commonly found in soaps, shampoos, toothpastes and many other household items.
Despite its widespread use, researchers have identified potentially serious consequences of long-term exposure to the chemical.
Their study, published by the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows that triclosan causes liver fibrosis and cancer in lab mice.
Liver fibrosis is where persistent inflammation causes fibrous scar tissue to form around the liver cells and blood vessels.
Over time, it can cause cirrhosis which in turn can make the liver stop functioning.
However the researchers stress the findings are also relevant in humans, due to the processes they observed while conducting the study.
Triclosan is already under scrutiny by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States due recent reports that it can disrupt hormones and impair muscle contraction.