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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Antibacterial' Category


23
Sep

Triclosan Persists at Low-Levels in the Environment for Long Periods of Time

(Beyond Pesticides, September 23, 2010) A study by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists and cooperators provides new details about how fertilizing soils with biosolids also introduces triclosan, an antibacterial agent in soaps and other cleaning supplies, into the environment. Results show that triclosan in biosolids is only slowly degraded and persists at low levels in the environment for long periods of time. Biosolids are illegal for use in organic agriculture. For this study, entitled “Fate of triclosan in agricultural soils after biosolid applications” and published in Chemosphere, Agricultural Research Service (ARS), chemist Clifford Rice, of the ARS Environmental Management and Byproduct Utilization Laboratory in Beltsville, Md., and his partners determined that triclosan levels in Class B biosolids from a Mid-Atlantic wastewater treatment plant averaged around 15.5 milligrams per kilogram. They collected surface soil samples from 26 farms in northern Virginia, mostly from pastures. Some fields had never been amended with biosolids and others had been amended with one to four applications of biosolids within the previous 9 months to 13 years. Most of the biosolid amendments came from the wastewater treatment plant in the study. Generally, conventional chemical-intensive farmers add “Class B” biosolids, also known as treated wastewater solids, […]

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03
Sep

Nanosilver Particles Can Stop Sperm Cells from Growing

(Beyond Pesticides, September 3, 2010) New research shows that silver nanomaterials, which are used in a number of consumer products as antimicrobial agents, can interrupt important cell signaling within male reproductive sperm cells, causing them to stop growing. In previous studies, scientists reported how smaller-sized silver nanoparticles — in the 10 – 25 nanometer range — decrease the growth of male stem cells when they are exposed at concentrations greater than 10 micrograms per milliliter (μg/ml). This new study, on the other hand, is the first to identify how the silver nanoparticles stop the sperm stem cells from growing, with the biggest effects from the smallest-sized nanoparticles tested. Like many other studies on the effects of nanotechnology, this study raises important questions about the potential hazards to human health due to the prolific use of silver nanoparticles in the market. Researchers tested the effects of different sizes, concentrations and coatings of silver nanoparticles on cell growth of mouse sperm cells. They compared silver nanoparticles coated with either hydrocarbons — at 15 nm, 25 nm and 80 nm diameters — or sugars — at 10 nm, 25 – 30 nm and 80 nm diameter. Exposure to the smaller sized particles led […]

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13
Aug

Antimicrobial Nanoparticles in Soil Can Harm Plants

(Beyond Pesticides, August 13, 2010) A new study finds that silver nanoparticles, which are used in consumer products and in hospitals for their antimicrobial properties, can harm plant life when it enters into the natural environment. Where silver nanoparticles are present in the soil, plant species are reduced by 22 percent, with an additional 20 percent reduction of microbial biomass, as compared to those plants without the presence of nanoparticles. Researchers applied biosolids with silver nanoparticles into the soil of plants growing in intermediate sized rubber tubs, using a concentration within the range that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reported finding in biosolids from a recent survey. “There have been a lot of lab studies looking at silver nanoparticles showing that they are highly toxic to bacteria, fungi, other microorganisms,” explained Ben Colman, PhD to Scientific American. Dr. Coleman is a postdoctoral researcher at Duke University who led the study. “Most of these studies have been conducted in very simple lab settings, [with] one species of bacteria””often the “lab rat” of the bacteria world, E [scherichia]. coli ””[in] a test tube with very simple media and nanoparticles. So we wanted to move beyond this because it’s really hard […]

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09
Aug

New Data Shows Increased Triclosan Exposure

(Beyond Pesticides, August 9, 2010) Two separate findings that showcase increased exposure and potential for exposure in humans to the toxic chemical triclosan add to the mounting evidence that the non-medical use of this chemical should be banned. Newly released data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) finds that levels of triclosan in humans have increased by 50% since 2004. Moreover, a study by the University of Toledo shows that triclosan and triclocarbon, a similar compound, can enter the food chain through use of contaminated water or fertilizer on agricultural crops. CDC’s updated National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals finds that the 50% increase in levels of triclosan is across all demographics in the U.S. population. Data was collected on the concentration of triclosan in urine. Affluent people and those over the age of 20 have the highest concentrations of triclosan in their urine. The study released by the University of Toledo, “Uptake of Pharmaceutical and Personal Care Products by Soybean Plants from Soils Applied with Biosolids and Irrigated with Contaminated Water,” examines the potential for crops to take up contaminants such as triclosan from water or fertilizer. Conventional crops are often fertilized with sewage […]

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30
Jul

Lawsuit Seeks Timeline for FDA Action on Antibacterial Pesticide Triclosan

(Beyond Pesticides, July 30, 2010) Adding to a campaign that Beyond Pesticides launched in 2004 to alert the public and pressure government to restrict the highly toxic antibacterial chemical triclosan -commonly found in antibacterial soaps and household and consumer products, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) filed a lawsuit earlier this week against the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for failing to issue a final rule regulating the chemical. The lawsuit follows on the heels of two petitions filed by Beyond Pesticides and Food and Water Watch in 2009 and 2010 with FDA and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), respectively, to ban the chemical. Because of the widespread poisoning and environmental contamination caused by triclosan, the petitions cite numerous violations of statutory duties under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act, Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, and Endangered Species Act. The NRDC lawsuit adds yet another dimension to the legal violations involving agency malfeasance on triclosan by asking the court to impose a strict deadline for FDA to finalize a proposed rule that has been pending for 32 years and could ban many uses of triclosan and its chemical cousin triclocarban. […]

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23
Jul

Use of Household Cleaners Linked to Increased Risk of Breast Cancer

(Beyond Pesticides, July 23, 2010) A new study published in BioMed’s online journal, Environmental Health, links endocrine disrupting pesticides and other chemicals in household cleaning products to an elevated risk of breast cancer. Researchers at the Silent Spring Institute in Newton, MA and Boston University found that women who use household cleaners more often have double the risk of breast cancer, compared to women who use household cleaners less frequently. The study includes over 1,500 women selected from Cape Cod, MA and found a correlation between cases of breast cancer and the number of women who reported using household cleaners, particularly solid, slow-release air fresheners when used more than seven times a year, and mold removers when used more than once a week. The antimicrobials, phthalates and alkylphenolic surfactants often found in mold and mildew products are associated with various health and environmental issues. The antimicrobial triclosan for example, can cause skin irritation, allergy susceptibility, bacterial and compounded antibiotic resistance, and dioxin that jeopardizes fragile aquatic ecosystems. The study highlights methylene chloride (in some fabric cleaners), nitrobenzene (soaps, polishes), perfluorinated compounds (stainresistant, waterproof coatings), phthalates (surfactants), alkylphenols (solvents), parabens (preservatives), triclosan, and polycyclic musks (fragrance) as ingredients of concern. Past […]

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26
May

Ask Your Local Retailers to Stop Selling Triclosan Products

(Beyond Pesticides, May 26, 2010) Beyond Pesticides has drafted sample text (see below), and we need your help to deliver a letter to your local supermarket, cosmetics store or co-op asking them to stop selling products that contain triclosan. Hundreds of products containing the antibacterial chemical triclosan decorate the shelves of retail stores across the country. From hand soap and toothpastes, to toys and yoga mats, triclosan is everywhere. Product labels will read “triclosan,” “triclocarban” (a related compound found in bar soaps) or “Microban” (a formulation of triclosan used in plastics and fabrics). It is time to take action and demand that this endocrine disrupting chemical is removed from the products we use and love. When consumers demand more for their health and well-being, retailers and manufacturers of triclosan products must listen. Triclosan, which has a similar chemical structure as dioxin, is linked to various health and environmental problems. It is associated with skin irritation, has been shown to interfere with the body’s hormones, and has been linked to an increased risk of developing respiratory illness, or asthma, and cancer, as well as subtle effects on learning ability. Because the chemical goes down the drain, it wreaks havoc with the […]

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20
May

Dioxins from Triclosan Increasingly Found in Water

(Beyond Pesticides, May 20, 2010) Dioxins derived from the antibacterial agent triclosan account for an increasing proportion of total dioxins found in water: researchers at the University of Minnesota found that though levels of all other dioxins have dropped by 73-90% over the last thirty years, the levels of four different dioxins derived from triclosan have risen by 200-300%. The study, which was a collaborative effort between researchers at the University of Minnesota, Pace Analytical (Minneapolis), the Science Museum of Minnesota and Virginia Tech appears in the journal Environmental Science and Technology. Leading the research is the recent Ph.D. graduate in chemistry, Jeff Buth and supervisors William Arnold, a civil engineering professor, and his colleague Krostopher McNeill, all from University of Minnesota. Researchers looked at sediment core samples that contained pollution accumulation records from the past 50 years from Lake Pepin, a part of the Mississippi River 120 miles downstream from the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area. The sediment samples were then analyzed for triclosan, the four dioxins that are derived from triclosan and the entire family of dioxin chemicals. In papers published in 2003 and 2009, Dr. Arnold and Dr. McNeill discovered that triclosan, when exposed to sunlight, generated a […]

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06
May

Triclosan Withdrawn as Food Contact Additive in Europe Following Action in U.S.

(Beyond Pesticides, May 6, 2010) The European Commission has announced that triclosan has been formally withdrawn from the European list for use as a food contact additive; however, plastic materials that are intended to come in contact with food and placed on the market before November 2010 may still be sold until November 2011. The decision follows the European Union’s 2009 regulations to impose limits on the amount of triclosan contained in cosmetics. Ciba, the Swiss-based company that is a subsidiary of BASF, announced last year that they had withdrawn the application of triclosan as a food contact additive so that they could instead focus their sales in the personal hygiene, health care and medical device sector. The company declared this to be a “strategic business decision” and declared that triclosan use as as an additive in plastics intended to come into contact with food was no longer “appropriate.” In the U.S. in 2009, Ciba requested a voluntarily cancellation of the registrations for the technical grade triclosan regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and incorporated into plastics and textiles. Ciba continues to market triclosan for medical and personal care products, which are regulated by the U.S. Food and […]

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09
Apr

FDA Acknowledges Adverse Effects of Triclosan, U.S. Rep Urges Ban

(Beyond Pesticides, April 9, 2010) U.S. Representative Edward J. Markey (D-Mass), Chairman of the Energy and Environment Subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee, yesterday called for a ban on many applications of the antimicrobial chemical triclosan ””which is found in many consumer soaps and countless other products ranging from toys to lipstick. Rep. Markey called for the ban in conjunction with the release of correspondence from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that raise serious concerns regarding the use of the chemical triclosan. In response to the FDA and EPA letters, Chairman Markey also announced plans to introduce legislation that will accelerate the evaluation and regulation of substances such as triclosan that may harm the human endocrine system. “Despite the fact that this chemical is found in everything from soaps to socks, there are many troubling questions about triclosan’s effectiveness and potentially harmful effects, especially for children,” said Chairman Markey. In January 2010, Chairman Markey sent letters of concern regarding triclosan to FDA and to EPA. In FDA’s response letter to Chairman Markey, the FDA stated that, “existing data raise valid concerns about the [health] effects of repetitive daily human exposure to these […]

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15
Jan

Over 75 Groups Petition EPA to Ban Triclosan Uses Tied to Widespread Contamination

(Beyond Pesticides, January 15, 2010) Yesterday, environmental and health groups petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ban the use of the widely used antimicrobial pesticide triclosan, which is linked to endocrine disruption, cancer and antibiotic resistance and found in 75% of people tested in government biomonitoring studies. Over 75 groups, lead by Beyond Pesticides and Food and Water Watch, say EPA must act to stop the use of a chemical now commonly found in soaps, toothpaste, deordorants, cosmetics, clothing, and plastic, with a nearly $1 billion market and growing. In their petition, the groups cite numerous statutes under which they believe the government must act to stop non-medical uses of triclosan, including laws regulating pesticide registration, use and residues, clean and safe drinking water, and endangered species. “Given its widespread environmental contamination and public health risk, EPA has a responsibility to ban household triclosan use in a marketplace where safer alternatives are available to manage bacteria,” said Jay Feldman, executive director of Beyond Pesticides. “Scientific studies indicate that widespread use of triclosan causes a number of serious health and environmental problems,” said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch. “EPA needs to ban its use in non-medical […]

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14
Dec

Report Shows Overuse of Disinfectants Is Harmful

(Beyond Pesticides, December 14, 2009) A new report links disinfectant chemicals with chronic illnesses and conditions such as asthma, hormone imbalance, and immune system problems. The report, Disinfectant Overkill: How Too Clean May Be Hazardous to Our Health, was released by the national environmental health group Women’s Voices for the Earth (WVE), and cites more than 40 peer-reviewed reports and scientific studies that document the health impacts of chemicals found in household disinfectants. Chemicals reviewed in the report include chlorine bleach, ammonia, triclosan and triclocarban, ammonium quarternary compounds, and nano-silver. “Companies are working hard to convince consumers, and especially moms, that they need to regularly disinfect every surface in their homes to protect their families from illness. But that’s simply not true and it may not be healthy,” says WVE staff scientist and report author Alexandra Scranton. “We’re encouraging consumers to go back to basics for cleaning, with less of a focus on disinfection and more on non-toxic cleaners and a little elbow grease.” According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), frequent hand washing with hot water and regular soap is the best way to prevent infection and illness. “Antimicrobial chemicals available in the home today were […]

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23
Oct

Samsung Fined For Antimicrobial Keyboard Claims

(Beyond Pesticides, October 23, 2009) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fined Samsung for violating the federal pesticide law when it publicized that its keyboards, produced with nanosilver, were antimicrobial and inhibited germs and bacteria without registering its products with EPA. The claims made on the company’s labels and promotional material for netbook and notebook computer laptops would render the products pesticides, requiring registration by EPA. Dell also has keyboards treated with nanosilver for antimicrobial purposes which are registered with EPA. Nanosilver has been promoted for its antibacterial properties and is used in many products such as sporting goods, band-aids, clothing, baby and infant products, and food and food packaging. However, very little is known about where these particles end up when such products are put to use. Many consider silver to be more toxic than other metals when in nanoscale form and that these particles have a different toxicity mechanism compared to dissolved silver. Scientists have concluded that nanoparticles can pass easily into cells and affect cellular function, depending on their shape and size. Preliminary research with laboratory rats has found that silver nanoparticles can traverse into the brain, and can induce neuronal degeneration and necrosis (death of cells […]

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14
Oct

Conditions Affect Release of Nanosilver from Treated Products

(Beyond Pesticides, October 14, 2009) New research by scientists at the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research provides a first look at the behavior of nanosilver textiles under real-world washing conditions. This work builds on earlier studies conducted in water which show that nanosilver leaches from fabrics and textiles during washing to enter the environment. The study, “The Behavior of Silver Nanotextiles during Washing” published in Environmental Science and Technology, found that the total amount and form of silver (dissolved or particulate) that leaches during washing varies significantly depending on the product and the conditions. The goal was to determine the amount and the form of silver released during washing from nine fabrics with different ways of silver incorporation into or onto the fibers. The effect of pH, surfactants, and oxidizing agents was also evaluated. In the washing machine the majority of the nanosilver (at least 50% but mostly >75%) was released in the size fraction more than 450 nm, indicating the dominant role of mechanical stress. The researchers found that under typical washing conditions (pH 10—11, with high levels of surfactants), dissolved concentrations of silver were 10 times lower than at pH 7. However, when bleaching agents […]

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10
Sep

Studies Show Antiseptic Properties in Cinnamon Oil

(Beyond Pesticides, September 10, 2009) Some researchers are suggesting that sanitizers made with essential oil are a solution to harmful soaps with antibacterials. Cinnamon oil, according to many recent studies, has been shown to have strong antiseptic properties, without creating the problem of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Many antibacterial products, such as those containing triclosan, work by killing some, but not all bacteria, which means that widespread use has led to resistant strains and cross resistance with antibiotics. A recent study however, found that a cinnamon oil solution was just as effective at killing several common bacteria as many other antiseptics commonly used in hospitals. The team of surgeons conducting the research tested several common essential oils, and found that each has demonstrated promising efficacy against several bacteria, including multi-resistant strains. Another study by researchers in France in 2008 tested bactericidal activity of 13 different essential oils and had similar results, with cinnamon being the most effective. At concentrations as low as 10 percent or less, cinnamon oil was also effective against several antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria, such as Staphylococcus and E. coli. One pediatrician in New Jersey, Dr. Lawrence D. Rosen, who advocates natural health solutions on his blog, wholechildcenter.org, recommends […]

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19
Aug

This School Year, Parents Encouraged to Fight Germs without Hazardous Antibacterials

(Beyond Pesticides, August 19, 2009) As children return to school, health and environmental groups are encouraging parents to protect their children from harmful germs without using hazardous chemicals in lunch bags, school supplies, soaps and sanitizers. The dangers of and alternatives to using triclosan (often marketed as Microban) and the related compound triclocarban, are documented in new educational materials for parents. The factsheet, What’s the right answer to the germ question?, by Beyond Pesticides and Food & Water Watch, pulls together information from various scientific studies documenting the adverse impacts of triclosan on health and the environment, as well as antibiotic and antibacterial resistance. It also provides alternatives, cites Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations for hand washing and disease prevention, and lists triclosan-free brands and retailers. Triclosan is associated with skin irritation or eczema, has been shown to interfere with the body’s hormones, and has been linked to an increased risk of developing respiratory illness, or asthma, and cancer, as well as subtle effects on learning ability. Because the chemical goes down the drain, it also wreaks havoc with the environment, converting to highly toxic dioxins and contaminating waterways and wildlife. Furthermore, by killing some, but not all bacteria, […]

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04
Aug

Bill Would Limit Antibiotic Use in Livestock Feed, Combat Resistance

(Beyond Pesticides, August 4, 2009) In July 2009, the House Rules Committee held a hearing on the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act (PAMTA – H.R. 1549). The legislation introduced by Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (D-NY), is designed to preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics by phasing out the non-therapeutic use of medically important antibiotics in livestock. The bill does not restrict use of antibiotics to treat sick animals or to treat pets and other animals not used for food. “There is little doubt that antibiotic-resistant diseases are a growing public health menace,” said Rep. Slaughter, a microbiologist with a master’s degree in public health. “From peanut butter to spinach to hot dogs, we all want to make sure the food we feed our families is safe. My legislation will limit the use of antibiotics on our livestock to ensure that we are not inadvertently creating antibiotic- resistant diseases that we can’t fight with modern medicine.” Antibiotics are an indispensable part of modern medicine, protecting all of us from deadly infections. Unfortunately, over the past several years, the widespread practice of using antibiotics to promote livestock growth and compensate for unsanitary, crowded conditions has led to the emergence of antibiotic-resistant strains […]

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15
Jul

Groups File Petition to FDA to Ban Triclosan for Non-Medical Uses

On July 14, 2009, Beyond Pesticides and Food and Water Watch submitted an amended petition to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requiring that the agency ban the use of the controversial pesticide triclosan for non-medical applications on the basis that those uses violate the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act. Strong scientific evidence suggests that pervasive use of triclosan poses imminent threats to human health and the environment. “Numerous scientific studies and reports clearly indicate that in addition to its human health and environmental dangers, triclosan is not effective for many of its intended benefits and may actually be doing consumers more harm than good,” said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch. “Even worse, is that current regulations on triclosan haven’t been updated since 1994 and much of the science used by the FDA to regulate the pesticide dates back to the late 1970s and early 1980s. The agency’s inconsideration of new scientific research on triclosan represents an egregious failure to properly protect the public against this dangerous pesticide.” Regulated by both the FDA and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), triclosan is commonly found in hand soaps, toothpastes, deodorants, laundry detergents, fabric […]

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23
Jun

Antibacterial Pesticide Triclosan Contaminates Dolphins

(Beyond Pesticides, June 23, 2009) According to a study published in the August-September 2009 issue of the journal Environmental Pollution, the presence of triclosan, a widely-used antibacterial pesticide found in products from countertops to toothpaste, was detected in the in the blood of bottlenose dolphins. The study, “Occurrence of triclosan in plasma of wild Atlantic bottlenose dolphins and in their environment,” was the first to find triclosan in the blood of a marine mammal, suggesting that contamination from sewage systems is widespread. According to a synopsis by Environmental Health News, the study examined dolphins from rivers, an estuary, a harbor and a lagoon in South Carolina and Florida. In this study, wild bottlenose dolphins were live captured from several sites within an estuary in Charleston, SC and in the Indian River Lagoon, FL in 2005. Blood samples taken from 13 animals in each area revealed triclosan in 31 and 23 percent of the animals from the two sites, respectively, at levels ranging from 0.025 to 0.27 parts per billion. These levels are similar to what has been measured in the blood of humans. When introduced to the market in 1972, triclosan was confined to hospital and health care settings. Since […]

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20
Feb

EPA Launches Internal Pilot Program for “Green” Antimicrobials

(Beyond Pesticides, February 20, 2009) The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will conduct an “internal pilot” in conjunction with the agency’s Design for the Environment Formulator Program (DfE) to further explore a policy change that would allow claims of environmental preferability in regard to non-porous hard surface disinfectants and sanitizers. The agency’s plans were announced at a February 3 meeting of the Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee (PPDC) Work Group on Comparative Claims in Washington, DC. “EPA’s announcement of the internal pilot is a positive step forward in developing an Agency policy that meshes with the demands of today’s green marketplace,” said Bill Balek, Director of Legislative Affairs of the Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association (ISSA). According to Jay Feldman, executive director of Beyond Pesticides, “Comparative claims and “green” standards can help consumers avoid poisonous pesticide products. EPA should through this program embrace its mission to provide the public with full disclosure of all pesticide product ingredients, potential hazards, inluding those known and untested, and information on product efficacy. Additionally, to maximize positive outcomes, this program should also assist the public with information on unnecessary and ineffective antimicrobial pesticide use, bacterial resistance, and “green” practices, such as cultural practices that can eliminate the […]

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04
Feb

New Test Detects Triclosan in Water

(Beyond Pesticides, February 4, 2009) A new test for triclosan, developed by researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS), could help to expedite environmental monitoring of this widely used antibacterial chemical which has been found at high concentrations in rivers and other water resources. Triclosan is linked to a range of health and environmental effects, from skin irritation, bacterial resistance and endocrine disruption, to dioxin contamination and adverse impacts on fragile aquatic ecosystems. The new test called “magnetic particle enzyme immunoassay,” can detect triclosan at a concentration of 20 parts per trillion (ppt)-the equivalent of 1 ounce in 31 million tons. The research team at ARS evaluated the test by using it to detect triclosan and its derivative, methyl-triclosan, in river water, tap water and sewage samples from three municipal plants. They were able to detect triclosan below 20 ppt (the detection limit), indicating very low levels of triclosan in the collected samples. ARS chemist, Weilin L. Shelver, at the ARS Animal Metabolism-Agricultural Chemicals Research Unit in Fargo, N.D., developed the new triclosan test in collaboration with Jennifer Church, Lisa Kamp and Fernando Rubio, a research team at Abraxis, Inc., of Warminster, Pa. Ms. Shelver says […]

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28
Jan

New Report Finds High Concentrations of Toxic Contaminants in Sewage Sludge

(Beyond Pesticides, January 28, 2009) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) national sewage sludge survey identifies high concentrations of toxic contaminants with heavy metals, steroids and pharmaceuticals, including the antibacterials, triclocarban and triclosan. Despite the prevalence of these toxic chemicals in the environment and their potential adverse impacts to human health and the environment, EPA maintains that it is not appropriate to speculate on the significance of the results at this time. Under the Clean Water Act (CWA), Section 405(d) stipulates that EPA must identify and regulate toxic pollutants that may be present in biosolids (sewage sludge) at levels of concern for public health and the environment. The survey, “Targeted National Sewage Sludge Survey” (TNSSS), sampled 74 selected waste water treatment plants in 35 states during 2006 to 2007. The survey, like its three predecessors, is conducted to determine which chemicals are present in sewage sludge and develop national estimates of their concentrations in order to assess whether exposures may be occurring and whether concentrations found may be of concern. The agency conducted analysis of sewage sludge samples for 145 compounds, including four anions (nitrite/nitrate, fluoride, water-extractable phosphorus), 28 metals, four polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, two semi-volatiles, 11 flame retardants, 72 […]

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19
Dec

Groups Asked to Sign Statement Seeking To Restrict Triclosan, Find EPA Health and Environmental Standards Too Weak

(Beyond Pesticides, December 19, 2008) In resopnse to an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published final Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) document for triclosan (October 29, 2008), groups are citing a serious lack of health and environmental protection and the agency’s failure to meet its statutory duty. Formal comments will be submitted to the agency during a comment period that ends at the end of December 2008. Groups have been invited to sign a joint statement. Triclosan is a synthetic, broad-spectrum antimicrobial agent that in recent years has exploded onto the consumer market in a wide variety of antibacterial soaps, deodorants, toothpastes, cosmetics, fabrics, plastics, and other products. Studies link triclosan to a range of health and environmental effects, from skin irritation, allergy susceptibility, bacterial and compounded antibiotic resistant, and dioxin contamination to destruction of fragile aquatic ecosystems. Many of Beyond Pesticides comments that were submitted on July 7, 2008 were considered and amendments were made to the risk assessment. However, despite many lingering issues related to triclosan continued threat to human and environmental health, the agency concluded that triclosan was eligible for reregistration. This means that the continued and expanding use of this chlorinated, bioaccumulative pesticide, with the ability to produce […]

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