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Triclosan May Impair Muscle Function

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Muscle Impairment Could Damage Fragile Ecosystems

The researchers also looked at how triclosan affected muscle function in fish, since after it goes down our drains at home, triclosan eventually makes its way into rivers, lakes, and oceans. Fish exposed to triclosan for just one week had impaired swimming abilities, which in the wild would make them more vulnerable to predators. That means that triclosan in our water could be disrupting the balance of those ecosystems.

Bruce Hammock professor in the UC Davis Department of Entomology, who was also a study co-author said:

We were surprised by the large degree to which muscle activity was impaired in very different organisms and in both cardiac and skeletal muscle. You can imagine in animals that depend so totally on muscle activity that even a 10-percent reduction in ability can make a real difference in their survival.

Because triclosan is such a common ingredient in over the counter products, we’re washing the stuff down our drains – and eventually into our water systems – every day. This research makes a strong case for getting the triclosan out of consumer products to protect wildlife.

Triclosan was always considered acceptable in hospitals, but this new research throws doubt on its safety in some clinical settings. On the next page, we’ll look at where more research is needed and where triclosan could be doing more harm than good.

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Becky Striepe

Becky Striepe is a freelance writer and vegan crafter living in Atlanta, Georgia. Her life’s mission is to make green crafting and vegan food accessible to everyone! Like this article? You can follow Becky on Twitter or find her on Facebook!


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11:48AM PST on Feb 7, 2013

Don´t use antibacterial soap, thanks for posting!

9:29PM PDT on Sep 4, 2012

i've avoided anti-bacterial handsoap for years now...

9:41AM PDT on Sep 1, 2012

I had no idea.

9:09AM PDT on Aug 26, 2012

I had no idea...Thx for the info...especially going to pass it on to family members with small children!

12:11PM PDT on Aug 22, 2012

Yep, avoid it whenever I can - I have never liked using the chemically antibacterial stuff on my skin or in my home. If I really need to, I grab some tea tree oil or something.

10:38AM PDT on Aug 20, 2012

The use of anti-bacterial soap should remain a seldom used product.

Do any of you remember Hexachlorophene, it was used in surgical soaps. it often contained small trace amounts of Dioxin. Exposure to such, results in Chloracne or worse, resulting in facial disfigurement, a life threatening menace.

So potentially dangerous that the US banned its use for everyone but professional use.

I was sent to Seveso, Italy, after the "accident", in which TCP was released into the atmosphere, upon a population who unwittingly remained and in the end, suffered greatly.
The greater problem was that, when TCP is heated beyond 240F (115.5 C), Dioxin is produced.

Trichlorophenol (TCP), the herbicide 2,4,5-T, often referred to as Agent Orange, is one of the most teratogenic chemicals known to man. America dumped 20,000,000 US gallons of it on the Vietnamese people. Just this week, American teams began attempting to clean up the mess or at least, try to mitigate its effect on the human population. A bit late, don't you think?

In Seveso and all around for thirty miles, it was sight out of Dante's Inferno, thousands of dead birds, cows, horses, everything for miles...either dead or dying. It was a sight, that I find, as bad as war itself. It is a sight that remains with me today and haunts me so.
Perhaps, this why I have become such a mad dog environmentalist, that and Rachel Carson's book, Silent Spring.

This was an industrial "accident" that would have sent Rachel Carson ru

4:20AM PDT on Aug 19, 2012

But yes, I do try to avoid it..............

4:18AM PDT on Aug 19, 2012

Everything and anything is dangerous......., even life. You might die of it some day........

10:04AM PDT on Aug 18, 2012

Now, I know not to use those anti-bacterial soaps.

10:04AM PDT on Aug 18, 2012

Now, I know not to use those anti-bacterial soaps.

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