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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Triclosan' Category


06
Jan

Congressman Grills EPA and FDA for Lack of Action on Triclosan

(Beyond Pesticides, January 6, 2010) The House Energy and Environment Subcommittee chairman asked federal regulators for an open discussion about the health and environmental impacts of two controversial chemicals- triclosan and triclocarban- commonly found in antimicrobial hand soaps and other consumer products. Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) is asking U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for answers to questions about triclosan and triclocarban. The synthetic antimicrobial chemicals are found in many soaps, toothpastes, deodorants and cosmetics. “Despite serious questions regarding the safety of these potentially dangerous products, these substances seem to exist in a regulatory black hole,” Rep. Markey said in a statement. “We must ensure that these products … kill germs without adversely impacting human health.” Read letter to EPA and FDA. In the letter to EPA, Rep. Markey questions whether the agency is reviewing existing data on the two chemicals, and if it has made a decision about further regulating them. He also asked if the agency has examined the impact of triclosan on wildlife, and whether it plans to evaluate the chemicals under its hormone-screening program, the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program. The lawmaker also pushed FDA on its plan for finalizing a […]

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16
Dec

CDC Issues Fourth National Report on Body Burden of Toxic Chemicals

(Beyond Pesticides, December 16, 2009) The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published its Fourth National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals – the most comprehensive assessment to date of the exposure of the U.S. population to chemicals in our environment. CDC measures 212 chemicals in people’s blood or urine – 75 of which have been measured for the first time in the U.S. population. One of the new chemicals included in this report is triclosan, a common and hazardous antibacterial agent. In this Fourth Report, 75 new chemicals were added. Chemicals in the Fourth Report include metals such as lead, cadmium, uranium, mercury, and speciated forms of arsenic; environmental phenols such as bisphenol-A (BPA); acrylamide; perfluorinated chemicals; polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs); polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs); volatile organic compounds such as benzene, styrene and methyl tert-butyl ether; pesticides; phthalates; and dioxins, furans and related chemicals. The data analyzed in the Fourth Report are based on blood and urine samples that were collected from approximately 2400 people who participated in CDC’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 2003 through 2004. NHANES is an ongoing national health survey of the non-institutionalized U.S. population that includes collecting and […]

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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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13
Oct

Biomonitoring Study Detects Toxic Chemicals in Health Care Professionals

(Beyond Pesticides, October 13, 2009) In a first ever investigation of toxic chemicals found in the bodies of doctors and nurses, Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) in partnership with American Nurses Association (ANA) and Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) released the Hazardous Chemicals In Health Care report on October 8th. The inquiry found that all of the 20 participants had toxic chemicals associated with health care in their bodies. Each participant had at least 24 individual chemicals present, four of which are on the recently released US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) list of priority chemicals for regulation. These chemicals are all associated with chronic illness and physical disorders. The Hazardous Chemicals in Health Care report offers preliminary indicators of what the broader health care community may be experiencing. The project tested for 62 distinct chemicals in six categories: bisphenol A, mercury, perflourinated compounds, phthalates, polybrominated diphenyl ethers, and triclosan. The chemicals tested in the investigation are used in products common to the health care setting, from baby bottles, hand sanitizer, and medical gauges, to industrial paints, IV bags and tubes and stain-resistant clothing. Twelve doctors and eight nurses, two in each of 10 states were tested for the presence of […]

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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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27
Aug

Canadian Medical Association Calls for Ban of Household Products Containing Triclosan

(Beyond Pesticides, August 27, 2009) At its annual convention, the Canadian Medical Association called on the federal government to ban the sale of household antibacterial products such as those containing triclosan. The motion was proposed by Ottawa family physician Kapil Khatter, M.D., who is also president of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment. He says he can understand the appeal of antibacterial products, but in reality they do more harm than good. Strong scientific evidence suggests that pervasive use of triclosan poses imminent threats to human health and the environment, which is why Beyond Pesticides and Food and Water Watch submitted an amended petition a month ago to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) seeking to ban the use of the controversial pesticide triclosan for non-medical applications. The petition establishes that FDA’s allowance of triclosan in the retail market violates the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act. The CMA resolution echoes concerns raised not only by Beyond Pesticides, but also by the American Medical Association (AMA) that date as far back as 2000, citing the lack of studies pertaining to the health and environmental effects of its widespread use. Because no data exists to support the need […]

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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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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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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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11
Dec

New Study Finds That Triclosan Exposure Impacts Thyroid Hormones

(Beyond Pesticides, December 11, 2008) In a recent study, researchers find that triclosan, the antibacterial agent found in many consumer products including soaps, toothpaste, cosmetics, counter tops and toys, alters thyroid function in male rats. These effects are observed at concentrations that may be used in consumer products and highlight the growing threat consumers face from this hazardous and ubiquitous chemical. The study, entitled, “The effects of triclosan on puberty and thyroid hormones in male wistar rats,” was reviewed by the National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and approved for publication in Toxicological Sciences. Researchers measured blood concentrations of testosterone and several other types of hormones and weighed a variety of organs that are essential for rat development and puberty, including the pituitary gland, the testes, the prostate gland and the liver of male rat pups fed an oral dose of triclosan for 31 days. The purpose of the experiment was to determine what effects triclosan would have on concentrations of thyroid hormones and the onset of puberty. Results show a dramatic decrease in the thyroid hormone -thyroxine in rats exposed to increasing concentrations of triclosan, as well as significant increases in liver […]

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10
Nov

Action Alert: Public Comments Needed On Controversial Antibacterial Triclosan

(Beyond Pesticides, November 10, 2008) Despite unanimous criticism of its preliminary risk assessment by the environmental community, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in its completed the Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) for the controversial antibacterial triclosan, concludes that all uses, with the exception of the paint use, are eligible for reregistation. Triclosan, which is expected to reach a market value of $930 million by 2009, has exploded on to the marketplace in recent years, growing 5 percent annually, in products from soaps, cosmetic and personal care products, toothbrushes and toothpaste, to plastic toys and textiles. EPA believes that levels of concern for triclosan have not been exceeded even though this pervasive chemical is shown to threaten human health and the environment. The agency has opened a public comment period on the RED which closes on December 29. 2008. Triclosan accumulates in fatty tissue and has been found in breast milk and urine. It has also been linked to hormone disruption and has contaminated most of the nation’s waterways. Its degradates are also known to be persistent, to bioaccumulate and interfere with the hormone system. Triclosan has also been implicated in antibacterial and antibiotic resistance, which has severe consequences in medical […]

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05
Nov

Safey Reviews Inadequate for Pesticides Widely Found in Waterways

(Beyond Pesticides, November 5, 2008) The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) acknowledged in a recent Federal Register Notice that antimicrobial pesticides in wide use are not adequately tested for their impacts on human health and the environment. Controversy surrounding the impacts of many antimicrobials in the environment has arisen in recent times to due to the prevalence of these chemicals in surface and drinking waters. Antimicrobials are defined by the EPA as “pesticides that are intended to (1) disinfect, sanitize, reduce, or mitigate growth or development of microbiological organisms, or (2) protect inanimate objects from contamination, fouling, or deterioration caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoa, algae, or slime.” For this proposal, the EPA is using the term antimicrobials to collectively refer to antimicrobial pesticides, antifoulant coatings and paints, and wood preservatives. The use of the controversial antimicrobial, triclosan, in inanimate objects, such as plastic and textiles, would be covered by these regulations, while those personal care products with the very same ingredient would not, since they fall under Food and Drug Administration authority. In the Federal Register last month, EPA, trying to play catch-up with the science while products continue in larger and larger numbers to incorporate the controversial antimicrobials, issues […]

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08
Jul

Widespread Uses of Anti-Bacterial Consumer Chemical Challenged

(Beyond Pesticides, July 8, 2008) In comments filed July 7, 2008 with the Environmental Protection Agency on its new risk assessment and evaluation of the widely used anti-bacterial chemical triclosan, found in a wide range of products including soaps, toothpastes and personal care products, plastics, paints and clothing, public interest health and environmental groups point to health effects, environmental contamination and wildlife impacts and call for consumer uses to be halted. The comments, submitted by Beyond Pesticides, Food and Water Watch, Greenpeace US, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club and dozens of public health and environmental groups from the U.S. and Canada, urge the agency to use its authority to cancel the non-medical uses of the antibacterial chemical triclosan, widely found in consumer products and shown to threaten health and the environment. Triclosan and its degradation products bioaccumulate in humans, are widely found in the nations waterways, fish and other aquatic organisms, and because of triclosan’s proliferating uses, are linked to bacterial resistance, rendering triclosan and antibiotics ineffective for critical medical uses. The chemical and its degradates are also linked to endocrine disruption, cancer and dermal sensitization. “The nonmedical uses of triclosan are frivolous and dangerous, creating serious direct health […]

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17
Jun

Antibacterial Wipes Spread, Rather Than Kill, Bacteria

(Beyond Pesticides, June 17, 2008) A recent study at Cardiff University in Wales shows that antimicrobial wipes, including those containing triclosan, may be spreading antibiotic-resistant bacteria, rather than killing it. Researchers from the Welsh School of Pharmacy studied the bacteria methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, and the ability of different types of wipes to remove or kill it. They found that in “normal use” conditions, or how hospitals in Wales have been using the wipes, bacteria is only moved from surface to surface, increasing potential exposure. According to the university, “The research involved a surveillance programme observing hospital staff using surface wipes to decontaminate surfaces near patients, such as bed rails, and other surfaces commonly touched by staff and patients, such as monitors, tables and keypads. It was found that the wipes were being applied to the same surface several times and used on consecutive surfaces before being discarded.” Furthermore, in laboratory replications, the team found “that although some wipes can remove higher numbers of bacteria from surfaces than others, the wipes tested were unable to kill the bacteria removed. As a result, high numbers of bacteria were transferred to other surfaces when reused.” The findings raise concern from others […]

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17
Mar

Pharmaceuticals and Anti-Bacterials in Your Drinking Water

(Beyond Pesticides, March 17, 2008) Not everything that goes down the drain can be removed by water treatment plants, which leaves some alarming contaminants in America’s drinking water. A five-month investigation by the Associated Press (AP) finds trace quantities of pharmaceuticals in the drinking water of 41 million Americans. Scientists fear that ingestion of these tiny amounts of drugs may pose health risks to the public, wildlife and aquatic organisms. The AP investigation surveyed the 50 largest cities in the country and a dozen other major water providers, as well as other small providers in each of the 50 states. A wide range of pharmaceuticals, whether administered to humans or to farm animals, are found in the water of 24 major metropolitan areas, and tests done in the watersheds of 35 major water providers shows 28 testing positive for pharmaceuticals. The levels of pharmaceuticals found in the water are at levels measured in the parts per billion or trillion, far below levels of medical use. The federal government has not set safety limits for drugs in drinking water. In fact, fewer than half of the 62 major water providers could say their water was tested. Water treatment plants are not […]

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28
Feb

Earthworms Contain Chemicals from Households and Animal Manure

(Beyond Pesticides, February 28, 2008) Earthworms studied in agricultural fields have been found to contain chemicals from household products (including the widely marketed triclosan, a hazardous antimicrobial) and manure, indicating that such substances are entering the food chain. U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Scientists and their colleague from Colorado State University at Pueblo published their findings in Environmental Science and Technology. The study results demonstrate that organic chemicals introduced to the environment via land application of biosolids, the solid byproduct of wastewater treatment, and manure as fertilizers are transferred to earthworms. Earthworms continuously ingest soils for nourishment and can accumulate the chemicals present in the soil.The scientists collected soil and earthworms from three agricultural fields””a soybean field fertilized with biosolids, a corn field fertilized with swine manure, and a soybean field that had received no applications of either biosolids or manure for at least 7 years. The chemicals investigated are considered indicators of human and animal waste sources and include a range of active ingredients in common household products such as detergents, antibacterial soaps, fragrances, and pharmaceuticals. All of these chemicals tend to be concentrated in the municipal waste distribution and disposal process and are referred to as anthropogenic waste indicators […]

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22
Jan

Antibacterial Found in Plasma and Milk of Swedish Nursing Mothers

(Beyond Pesticides, January 22, 2008) Triclosan, a very common antibacterial chemical, is present in the plasma and breast milk of nursing mothers, according to a study by Swedish researchers. Every one of the 36 mothers tested positive for triclosan levels in their bodies, and the concentrations were clearly and significantly higher in the exposed group (i.e., those that use triclosan-containing products) than in the control group. This does not come as a surprise since triclosan is widely used in personal care products””including soaps, deodorants, and toothpaste””as well as plastics and textiles. Although there was high variability within groups, even members of the control group had triclosan present in their plasma, indicating that there are other significant sources of exposure outside of hygiene products. Triclosan is not removed from wastewater by conventional treatment processes and has been found in both wastewater effluent and sewage sludge. The authors of Triclosan in plasma and milk from Swedish nursing mothers and their exposure via personal care products say that the significance of the presence of triclosan in plasma and breast milk of nursing mothers is not easily deduced and that the health effects, especially the long-term effects of chronic exposure, of triclosan are not […]

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09
Jan

Study Finds That Antibacterial Enhances Endocrine Disruption

(Beyond Pesticides, January 9, 2008) Triclocarban, an antibacterial compound widely used as an additive to a range of household and personal care products including bar soaps, detergents, body washes, cleansing lotions, and wipes, has been found to have an amplification effect on the activity of natural hormones, which in turn can lead to adverse reproductive and developmental effects. In the study, published online November 29, 2007 in Endocrinology, researchers from University of California- Davis and Yale University investigated the endocrine disrupting properties of triclocarban and other polychlorinated diphenyl urea compounds by exposing human cells and rats to levels similar to those found in people. Triclocarban was found to have a synergistic interaction with the sex hormone, testosterone- present in both males and females. This interaction produced a positive, amplified biological effect, which is likely to hyperstimulate native sex hormones. This amplification of sex hormone activity occurs at the target cell and can result in developmental defects or decreased reproductive function. Researchers further explained that ovulation and ovarian function in females can be disrupted, while sperm quality can be decreased in males. The researchers also point out that the results of their study create a new category for endocrine disruptive substances […]

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14
Dec

Study Finds Triclosan Concentrations Highest Among the Wealthy

(Beyond Pesticides, December 14, 2007) A study recently published in Environmental Health Perspectives has found concentrations of the antibacterial chemical triclosan in a high percentage of subjects tested. Used in common household products like plastics, personal care products, and textiles, exposure routes are becoming difficult to avoid. According to the report’s summary, “Concentrations differed by age and socioeconomic status but not by race/ethnicity and sex. Specifically, the concentrations of triclosan appeared to be highest during the third decade of life and among people with the highest household incomes.” The study analyzed urine samples from 2,517 individuals, age 6 and over. Annual household income ranged from less than $5,000 to $75,000, and three major self-reported racial/ethnic groups were non-Hispanic black, non-Hispanic white, and Mexican American. Of the 2,517 urine samples, 74.6 percent contained triclosan. However, “the frequency of detection of triclosan varied by income group (63.7% [$20,000-$45,000]; 78.7% [$45,000]).” The report discussed the high levels of detection: “We detected concentrations of free plusconjugated species of triclosan in urine in 74.6% of the samples examined. This high frequency of detection is most likely associated with daily use by the US general population of consumer products that contain triclosan, including at least one […]

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19
Oct

With Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria on the Rise, Study Confirms Risks of Antibacterial Soaps

(Beyond Pesticides, October 18, 2007) Antibacterial soaps show no health benefits over plain soaps and, in fact, may render some common antibiotics less effective, says University of Michigan public health professor Allison Aiello, Ph.D. The study, “Consumer Antibacterial Soaps: Effective or Just Risky?” appears in the August edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases. In the first known comprehensive analysis of whether antibacterial soaps containing triclosan work better than plain soaps, Dr. Aiello of the University of Michigan School of Public Health and her team found that washing hands with an antibacterial soap was no more effective in preventing infectious illness than plain soap. Moreover, antibacterial soaps at formulations sold to the public do not remove any more bacteria from the hands during washing than plain soaps. Because of the way triclosan, the main active ingredient in many antibacterial soaps, reacts in the cells, it may cause some bacteria to become resistant to commonly used drugs such as amoxicillin, the researchers say. These changes have not been detected at the population level, but e-coli bacteria bugs adapted in lab experiments showed resistance when exposed to as much as 0.1 percent weight/volume triclosan soap. “What we are saying is that these e-coli could […]

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