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EPA Considers Banning Triclosan, A Common Anti-Bacterial in Soap
06-17-2011, 03:47 PM,
#1
Bug  EPA Considers Banning Triclosan, A Common Anti-Bacterial in Soap
Quote:EPA Considers Banning Triclosan, A Common Anti-Bacterial in Soap

Triclosan is a pesticide that has become ubiquitous in consumer products. It can be found in everything from about 50 percent of all consumer soaps to deodorant, cutting boards and clothing; basically most products labeled “anti-bacterial” or “anti-microbial” (Check the ingredient list) [seems reasonable and we do have a choice - it is required to be labelled as triclosan].

Unbeknown to most shoppers, triclosan poses serious personal health, public health and environmental concerns. It is an endocrine disruptor which research has linked to increased allergies, cancer and reproductive effects. [] Doctors worry its increased use is also breeding bacteria with increased resistance to medical antibiotics.

What’s scary is that triclosan is already found in the urine of 75 percent of the population today. [scary huh -- at what levels?] It also gets into our rivers and water bodies, throwing aquatic ecosystems out of whack because it is toxic to algae. Even more frustrating, in many cases, triclosan is entirely unnecessary. An expert FDA panel, for example, concluded in 2005 that anti-bacterial soap is no more effective in washing away germs than regular soap and water. Rather, it’s an effectiveness is more as a marketing ploy in an age of the super flu [it is effective].

While groups have raised these concerns for years, it looks like finally, their concerns are getting traction with federal regulators.

Almost a year ago, 86 groups, led by Beyond Pesticides and Food & Water Watch [see link for a listing of board members mostly from environmental groups and universities], filed a petition with U.S. EPA asking the agency (which shares regulatory oversight with FDA and the Consumer Products Safety Commission) to consider banning the anti-bacterial agent for non-medical uses. While both agencies do testing and regulate marketing claims, neither restrict the use of triclosan in consumer products .

Recently, the agency finally decided to consider their request. Right now, it has opened up the request for comments from the public.
Full Article: http://environment.change.org/blog/view/epa_considers_banning_triclosan_a_common_anti-bacterial_in_soap
EPA: http://www.beyondpesticides.org/antibacterial/triclosan.htm
Sources: http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/water/chemical-contaminants/what-is-lurking-in-your-soap/
http://food.change.org/blog/view/death_by_hand_soap_triclosan_poisons_you_me_and_the_planet

No doubt it's toxic but it's not responsible for creating superbugs. That's like saying that humans can develop resistance to speeding bullets that hit between the eyes. It's a very effective sanitizer. Also it's an anti-algal agent which can perhaps hurt the algae biofuel industry hamper the efforts to create farms of it fuelled by phosphate runoffs from superfarms producing corn and soy. Algae is a huge problem (or benefit) in killing plant life so maybe it serves a purpose.

Despite the 2005 EPA study it is more effective than soap and water but so is isopropyl alcohol (wiki) but it's much more expensive, is already regulated to a point and is quite flammable.

An outright OTC ban may not be wise weighing it all in. Triclosan does have it's place. There is most certainly a fair degree of lobbying going on against it, so is this naive? A small victory or railroaded to serve other bigger interests like algae (energy) and pandemic circulation (pharma)?

Do do a proper investigation of the human we need to reference the studies. Here's the ones that were cherry picked by the 86 action groups.

Endnotes
Code:
1,2 Calafat, AM, X Ye, LY Wong et al. 2008. Urinary concentrations
of triclosan in the U.S. population: 2003-2004. Environmental
Health Perspectives 116(3): 303-307. Wolff, MS, SL Teitelbaum, G
Windham, et al. 2007. Pilot study of urinary biomarkers of phytoestrogens,
phthalates, and phenols in girls. Environmental Health
Perspectives 115(1): 116-121.
3 Allmyr, Mats et al. 2006. Triclosan in plasma and milk from Swedish
nursing mothers and their exposure via personal care products.
Sci Total Environ. 372(1): 87-93.
4 Allmyr, et al 2006. Canosa, P, I Rodriguez, E Rubi, and R Cela.
2007. Determination of parabens and triclosan in indoor dust using
matrix solid-phase dispersion and gas chromatography with
tandem mass spectrometry. Analytical Chemistry 79(4): 1675-168.
5 Calafat, AM, X Ye, LY Wong et al. 2008. Urinary concentrations
of triclosan in the U.S. population: 2003-2004. Environmental
Health Perspectives 116(3): 303-307.
6 Allmyr, et al. 2008.
7 Allmyr, et al. 2008.
8 Crofton, KM, KB Paul MJ DeVito, and JM Hedge. 2007. Shortterm
in vivo exposure to the water contaminant triclosan: Evidence
for disruption of thyroxine. Environmental Toxicology and
Pharmacology 24:194-197. Veldhoen, N, RC Skirrow, H Osachoff,
et al. 2006.The bactericidal agent triclosan modulates thyroid
hormone-associated gene expression and disrupts postembryonic
anuran development. Aquatic Toxicology 80: 217-227.
9 Veldhoen, et al. 2006.
10 Gee, RH, A Charles, N Taylor, and PD Darbre. 2008. Oestrogenic
and androgenic activity of triclosan in breast cancer cells. Journal
of Applied Toxicology 38: 78-91.
11 Ahn, KC, B Zhao, J Chen, et al. 2008. In vitro biological activities
of the antimicrobial triclocarban, its analogues, and triclosan in
bioassay screens: receptor-based bioassay screens. Environmental
Health Perspectives doi:10.1289/ehp.11200.
12 Newton, AP, SM Cadena, ME Rocha, et al. 2005. Effect of triclosan
(TRN) on energy-linked functions of rat liver mitochondria. Toxicology
Letters 160: 49-59.
13 Aiello, AE, EL Larson, and SB Levy. 2007. Consumer Antibacterial
Soaps: Effective or Just Risky? Clinical Infectious Diseases
45: 137-147. Yazdankha, SP, AA Scheie, EA Hoiby, et al. 2006.
Triclosan and antimicrobial resistance in bacteria: An overview.
Microbial Drug Resistance 12(2): 83-90.
14 Aiello, et al, 2007.
15 Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food Safety. 2005. Risk assessment
on the use of Triclosan in cosmetics. Prepared by the
Scientific Committee in cooperation with the Panel on Biological
Hazards and the Panel on Food Additives, Flavourings, Processing
Aids, Materials in contact with Food and Cosmetics.
16 Yang, LH, GG Ying, HC Su, et al. 2008. Growth-inhibiting effects
of 12 antibacterial agents and their mixtures on the freshwater
microalga Psudokirchneriella subcapitata. Environmental Toxicology
and Chemistry 27(5): 1201-1208.
17 DeLorenzo, ME and J Fleming. 2008. Individual and mixture effects
of selected pharmaceuticals and personal care products on
the marine phytoplankton species Dunaliella tertiolecta. Archives
of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 54: 203-210.
18 Brain, RA, ML Hanson, KR Solomon, and BW Brooks. 2008.
Aquatic plants exposed to pharmaceuticals: Effects and risks.
Review of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 192:
67-115.
19 Ciniglia, C, C Cascone, RL Giudice, et al. 2005. Application of
methods for assessing the geno- and cytotoxicity of triclosan to C.
ehrenbergii. Journal of Hazardous Materials 122: 227-232.
20 Kinney, CA, ET Furlong, DW Kolpin, et al. 2008. Bioaccumulation
of pharmaceuticals and other anthropogenic waste indicators
in earthworms from agricultural soil amended with biosolid or
swine manure. Environmental Science and Technology 42(6):
1863-1870.
21 Coogan, MA, RE Edziyie, TW La Point, and BJ Venables. 2007.
Algal bioaccumulation of triclocarban, triclosan, and methyl triclosan
in a North Texas wastewater treatment plant receiving stream.
Chemosphere 67: 1911-1918.
22 Ibid. (Coogan, 2007).
23 DeLorenzo and Fleming, 2008.. Farre, M, D Asperger, L Kantiani,
et al. 2008. Assessment of the acute toxicity of triclosan and methyl
triclosan in wastewater based on the bioluminescence inhibition
of Vibrio fischeri. Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry 390:
1999-2007.
24 Yang, LH, GG Ying, HC Su, et al. 2008. Growth-inhibiting effects
of 12 antibacterial agents and their mixtures on the freshwater
microalga Psudokirchneriella subcapitata. Environmental Toxicology
and Chemistry 27(5): 1201-1208.
25 Heidler, J and RU Halden. 2007. Mass balance assessment of
triclosan removal during conventional sewage treatment. Chemosphere
66: 362-369.
26 Lapen, DR, E Topp, CD Metcalfe, et al. 2008. Pharmaceutical and
personal care products in tile drainage following land application
of municipal biosolids. Science of the Total Environment
doi:10.1016/i.scitotenv.2008.02.025.
27 Topp, E, SC Monteiro, A Beck, et al. 2008. Runoff of pharmaceuticals
and personal care products following application of biosolids
to an agricultural field. Science of the Total Environment 296:
52-59.
28 Topp, et al, 2008. Veldhoen, et al, 2006.
29 Topp et al, 2008.
30 Wilson, B, J Zhu, M Canwell, and CR Olsen. 2008. Short-term dynamics
and retention of triclosan in the lower Hudson River Estuary.
Marine Pollution Bulletin doi:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2008.3.017
31 Aranami, K and JW Readman. 2007. Photolytic degradation of
triclosan in freshwater and seawater. Chemosphere 66: 1052-1056.
32 Latch, DE, JL Packer, BL Stender, et al. 2005. Aqueous photochemistry
of triclosan: Formation of 2,4-dichlorophenol, 2,8-dichlorodibenzo-
p-dioxin, and oligomerization products. Environmental
Toxicology and Chemistry 24(3): 517-525.
33 Lores, M, M Llompart, L Sanchez-Prado, et al. 2005. Confirmation
of the formation of dichloro-dibenzo-p-dioxin in the photodegradation
of triclosan by photo-SPME. Analytical and Bioanalytical
Chemistry 381: 1294-1298.
34 Sanchez-Prado, L, M Llompart, M Lores, et al. 2006. Monitoring
the photochemical degradation of triclosan in wastewater by UV
light and sunlight using solid-phase microextraction. Chemosphere
65: 1338-1347.
35 Canosa, P, S Morales, I Rodriguez, et al. 2005. Aquatic degradation
of triclosan and formation of toxic chlorophenols in presence
of low concentrations of free chlorine. Analytical and Bioanalytical
Chemistry 383: 1119-1126.
36 Rule, KL, VR Ebbett, and PJ Vikesland. 2005. Formation of
chloroform and chlorinated organics by free-chlorine-mediated
oxidation of triclosan. Environmental Science and Technology
29:3176-3185. Fiss, EM, KL Rule, and PJ Vikesland. 2007. Formation
of chloroform and other chlorinated byproducts by chlorination
of triclosan-containing antibacterial products. Environmental
Science and Technology 41(7): 2387-2394.
37 Latch, DE, JL Packer, BL Stender, et al. 2005. Aqueous photochemistry
of triclosan: Formation of 2,4-dichlorophenol, 2,8-dichlorodibenzo-
p-dioxin, and oligomerization products. Environmental
Toxicology and Chemistry 24(3): 517-525.
38 Sanchez-Prado, L, M Llompart, M Lores, et al. 2006. Monitoring
the photochemical degradation of triclosan in wastewater by UV
light and sunlight using solid-phase microextraction. Chemosphere
65: 1338-1347.
39 Canosa et al 2005.
40 Rule, et al, 2005. Fiss, et al, 2007.
41 Fiss, et al, 2007.
42 Rule, et al, 2005.
43 Coogan, MA, RE Edziyie, TW La Point, and BJ Venables. 2007.
Algal bioaccumulation of triclocarban, triclosan, and methyl triclosan
in a North Texas wastewater treatment plant receiving stream.
Chemosphere 67: 1911-1918.
44 DeLorenzo, ME, JM Keller, CD Arthur, et al. 2008. Toxicity of the
antimicrobial chemical triclosan and formation of the metabolite
methyl-triclosan in estuarine systems. Environmental Toxicology
23(2): 224-232.
45 Balmer, ME, T Poiger, C Droz, et al. 2004. Occurrence of methyl
triclosan, a transformation product of the bactericide triclosan, in
fish from various lakes in Switzerland. Environmental Science and
Technology 38:390-395.
46 Farre, et al. 2008.
Full Report (Well a 4 page Brochure) PDF: Triclosan: What the Research Shows
A joint project of Food & Water Watch and Beyond Pesticides
http://www.beyondpesticides.org/antibacterial/triclosan-research-3-09.pdf

The jury is out on this one for me. I had mentioned triclosan previously here and here. The health study literature is a lot to get through but are we really going to trust the EPA and a small group to make this decision for us? Lives could be at stake mainly on the communicable disease front.

If there is enough interest I'll follow up but as always help is appreciated. I'm just one man with a family to take care of.

Interesting to dig up this in the ConCen archives:

Palo Alto Bans Anti-bacterial Soap (2006)
http://concen.org/forum/showthread.php?tid=29590&highlight=Triclosan
There are no others, there is only us.
http://FastTadpole.com/
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