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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Triclosan' Category


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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12
Mar

And the “Toxie” Goes to…

(Beyond Pesticides, March 12, 2010) Over 40 million Americans watched Sandra Bullock and Jeff Bridges win the best actress and actor Oscars at the 82nd Academy Awards last Sunday. On Wednesday March 3rd, Californians for a Healthy and Green Economy (CHANGE) recognized the year’s bad actors, bad chemical actors that is, at the first ever “Toxies.” CHANGE is a coalition of environmental, policy, labor, interfaith and other organizations working to regulate toxic chemicals in the state of California. Held at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood, the Red Carpet Event featured actors in character as various harmful chemicals. Toxies were awarded to the pesticides Triclosan and Methyl Iodide. The tongue-in-cheek award show was intended to bring awareness to the harmful effect that these chemicals have on human health and the environment. The timing coincides not only with the awards show season, but with the anticipated release of the final draft of regulations for California’s Green Chemistry Programs. The awards ceremony and accompanying report awarded Toxies to 16 bad chemical actors. The “winners” all affect human health and all have safer alternatives. The 2010 Toxie winners are: Worst Breakthrough Performance: Bisphenol A (BPA) Found in plastics BPA has been linked to breast […]

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08
Mar

Local Businesses Pledge to Stop Selling and Using Triclosan Products

(Beyond Pesticides, March 8, 2010) Twenty local businesses and organizations around New Brunswick, New Jersey announced their commitment to not purchase, use or sell products that contain triclosan, an antimicrobial pesticide shown to pose risks to both human health and the environment. Last week, the national consumer advocacy group Food & Water Watch convened an event with the businesses and organizations as part of its “Wash Your Hands of Triclosan” campaign. Speakers additionally expressed support for a proposed Highland Park ordinance to ban the municipal purchase of products containing triclosan, which will be discussed at the Highland Park Board of Health’s meeting on March 11. The community support behind prohibiting triclosan products is a strong indication of an increasing public rejection of the chemical. Originally developed as an anti-bacterial agent for hospital settings, triclosan is widely found in many consumer and household products ranging from dish soaps and detergents to toothpastes, deodorants, and others. A known endocrine disruptor, triclosan has been linked to antibiotic resistance, and can affect male and female reproductive hormones, which could potentially increase risk for cancer. Due to its prevalence in so many products, triclosan is now showing up in many things, from human breast milk […]

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24
Feb

Take Action: Tell FDA That Triclosan Is Too Hazardous to the Environment

(Beyond Pesticides, February 24, 2010) On February 22, 2010 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a federal notice requesting data and information regarding the potential environmental impact of triclosan’s use in acne and antiplaque/antigingivitis products. The agency, in order to comply with the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA), must complete environmental assessments (EA) for active ingredients before they are included in the agency’s over-the-counter (OTC) drug regulation system. Triclosan, a controversial antibacterial agent found in hundreds of consumer products, from hand sanitizers to toys, is one of 13 chemicals being assessed by FDA for environmental impacts according to their proposed uses. According to FDA regulations, the agency must conduct EAs before chemicals are approved for use in OTC drug products. In this case, triclosan is being considered for use in acne and antiplaque/antigingivitis products. Even though this action is being taken, FDA has never been able to finalize and approve the use of triclosan in any OTC products, despite the proliferation of these products in the consumer marketplace. It appears that EAs for the vast majority of triclosan uses have been completed. Other FDA regulations on triclosan have not been updated since 1994 and much of the data […]

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09
Feb

Biomonitoring Data Links Brain Effects to Neurotoxic Chemical Exposure

(Beyond Pesticides, February 9, 2010) In an innovative development that could transform the way Americans view the origins of learning and developmental disabilities, the national Learning and Developmental Disabilities Initiative (LDDI) released the first-ever biomonitoring report identifying toxic chemical pollution in people from the learning and developmental disability community. Mind, Disrupted: How Toxic Chemicals May Affect How We Think and Who We Are examines 61 toxic chemicals present in project participants in the context of rising rates of autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and other learning and developmental disabilities.   In the U. S., 5-15% of children under age 18 are affected by learning and developmental disabilities. Reported cases of autism spectrum disorders have increased tenfold since the early 1990s. Based on current research, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that 1 in 110 eight-year-old children have autism in the United States. Mind, Disrupted measured levels of a set of neurotoxic and endocrine-disrupting chemicals in the participants’ bodies. A growing body of peer-reviewed scientific research, including animal and human studies, shows that these chemicals can disrupt the development and functioning of the brain and nervous system. Eleven of the twelve study participants had detectable levels of triclosan in […]

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08
Feb

EPA Sued for Failure to Protect Endangered Species from Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, February 8, 2010) The Center for Biological Diversity filed a notice of intent to sue the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last week. The lawsuit argues that EPA violated the Endangered Species Act when it approved 394 pesticides known to be harmful to humans and wildlife, without consulting with wildlife regulatory agencies as to the pesticides’ effects on endangered species. By registering pesticides known to harm migratory birds the EPA has also violated the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, according to the suit. The pesticides named in the suit pose a danger not only to wildlife, but to human health as well. Some of the pesticides named include 2,4-D the most commonly used pesticide in the nonagricultural sector, atrazine, triclosan, and pyrethrins. Jeff Miller, conservation advocate at the Center for Biological Diversity, said, “It’s time for the Environmental Protection Agency to finally reform pesticide use to protect both wildlife and people…Many endangered species most affected by toxic pesticides are already struggling to cope with habitat loss and rapid climate changes. For too long this agency’s oversight has been abysmal, allowing the pesticide industry to unleash a virtual plague of toxic chemicals into our environment.” The suit names 887 threatened and […]

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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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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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