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Science Shows Antibacterial Chemicals are Dangerous to People and Environment

Science Shows Antibacterial Chemicals are Dangerous to People and Environment

Triclosan and Triclocarbon are killers. That’s their job. The antimicrobial chemicals are added to thousands of consumer products – from soap to toothpaste, public changing tables and even shoes – specifically to kill bacteria and viruses. Unfortunately, when the soap and other products wash down our drains, Triclosan and Triclocarbon end up in the aquatic environment and even on farms around the country where they keep doing their job, killing things.

Take Action: Sign the petition to ban Triclosan and Triclocarbon for non-medical purposes.

Anti-bacterial Soap Poses a Hazard to the Natural Environment
In an article in ScienceDaily this week, Rolf Halden, of the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University explained that “the impact these persistent chemicals can have on other life forms in the environment that are not their intended target. The thresholds for killing microbes are much higher than those for other, more fragile life forms, like algae, crustaceans and fish. ‘This explains why residual concentrations of antimicrobials found in aquatic environments are still sufficiently harmful to wipe out the small and sensitive crustaceans, which are critical to the aquatic life cycle and food web,’ Halden says.”

Antimicrobials Build up in People and Animals
And Triclosan and Triclocarbon are not just dangerous to aquatic micro-organisms, including eco-system critical algae and phytoplankton. Scientists have found concentrations of the antimicrobial in the bodies of animals higher up on the food chain, such as dolphins, and even in . . . people. Straight from ScienceDaily:

  • “Levels of triclosan in humans have increased by an average of 50 percent since 2004, according to newly updated data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  • Triclosan and Triclocarbon are present in 60 percent of all rivers and streams nationwide and analysis of lake sediments have shown a steady increase in triclosan since the 1960s.
  • Antimicrobial chemicals appear in household dust where they may act as allergens, and alarmingly,
  • 97 percent of all U.S. women show detectable levels of triclosan in their breast milk.”

And for what? The myth of a germ-free home.

Triclosan and Triclocarbon Are Not Effective Household Germ-killers
These chemicals were developed for use in hospitals, a place where germ-killing is lifesaving. In the 1980s, companies began marketing them to the general consumer.

In 2005, a panel at the Food & Drug Administration voted 11 to 1 that triclosan was no more effective in preventing infections than regular soap and water. Since all soap and the process of hand washing itself is anti-bacterial, the chemical is not necessary.

Excessive Use of Antimicrobials Could Lead to Super-Germs
“[T]he accumulation of these antimicrobials in the environment is exerting selective pressure on microorganisms exposed to them, thereby increasing the likelihood that a super-bug, resistant to the very antimicrobials developed to kill them, will emerge — with potentially dire consequences for human health,” writes ScienceDaily.

What You Can Do to Stop Triclosan and Triclocarbon

Read more: , , , , ,

Triclosan-containing soap photo, by Flickr user trekkyandy / CC BY-SA 2.0

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2:52PM PST on Dec 1, 2010

lets use technology responsibly and for specific purposes....

9:43PM PST on Nov 26, 2010


2:51PM PST on Nov 18, 2010


11:03AM PST on Nov 17, 2010

signed, by the way ...

11:02AM PST on Nov 17, 2010

gee really who would have thought oh oh i am so surprised

12:29AM PST on Nov 17, 2010

Thank for the info.

5:26AM PST on Nov 16, 2010

That's not new, I always try to avoid anything "antibacterial". Regular (vegan, or at least eco) soaps wash as good!

4:41AM PST on Nov 16, 2010

Thanx for the info

4:19AM PST on Nov 16, 2010

Everything that is made synthetically is poison,nutraceuticals are the way forward.every thing from nature can be used for medicines,detergents,food,clothes etc but the powers that be cannot patent nature so we are all forced to use,wear,take and eat second class shit that is patentable.but none of it is good for us as it all contains manmade materials and lets be honest here,man is useless at the moment.pow

7:24PM PST on Nov 15, 2010

Here's a perfect example of toxic chemicals being made and put into our environment. We don't want them or sometimes even know they're in the products we use or that they're toxic.

So why are forced to have them? Who is to blame? Who is responsible for putting them in there, for keeping them in there, for testing them and for eliminating them?

Unfortunately public demand drives the manufacturing and supply of these toxic items, but fortunately all we have to do is make sure we don't purchase any of the toxic items and the manufacturing and supply of the toxins will stop!

Please "Be the change you want to see"

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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