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Citing a Serious Health Threat, Over 200 International Scientists Call for Limit on Antibacterial Triclosan

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017

(Beyond Pesticides, June 21, 2017) More than 200 international scientists and medical professionals have signed the Florence Statement on Triclosan and Triclocarban, which states that triclosan and its chemical cousin triclocarban pose a risk to human health, and urges the international community to limit use of these antimicrobials, which are associated with bacterial resistance and no more effective than soap and water. In 2016 after manufacturers failed to prove efficacy, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates cosmetic triclosan products, announced that manufacturers must, by September 2017, remove triclosan from over the counter hand soaps. The agency still allows the chemical in toothpastes and other products, such as hand wipes. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which regulates triclosan in household items, textiles and plastics, still permits wide use of the chemical in a range of products. The Florence Statement on Triclosan and Triclocarban is “based on extensive peer-reviewed research,” and “concludes that triclosan and triclocarban are environmentally persistent endocrine disruptors that bioaccumulate in and are toxic to aquatic and other organisms.” The statement includes evidence of human health threats, and provides recommendations intended to mitigate harm from triclosan, triclocarban, and other similar antimicrobials. The recommendations are listed below: “Avoid […]

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Levels of Triclosan Spike in Children Following Hand Washing or Tooth Brushing

Friday, June 2nd, 2017

(Beyond Pesticides, June 2, 2017) According to a new study, levels of triclosan spike in the bodies of children after they brush their teeth or wash their hands. Triclosan, a controversial antimicrobial, is frequently added to consumer care products. Last year, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned the use of triclosan in hand soaps, but it is still allowed in toothpaste and numerous plastic and textile products regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Many companies had previously decided, due to consumer pressure, to remove triclosan from hand soaps years ahead of the FDA decision. Researchers collected and tested the urine of 389 mothers and their children –three times during pregnancy, and then took between 1-6 samples from children between the ages of 1 and 8 years old. The researchers found triclosan in over 70% of samples taken. In the group of 8 year olds, they report that levels were 66% higher in the children that used hand soap. For those that wash their hands over five times a day, the levels increase more than four times in comparison to children who wash their hands once or less per day. For toothpaste, researchers find that children who had […]

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NY State Senator Calls For Statewide Triclosan Ban

Friday, November 6th, 2015

(Beyond Pesticides, November 6, 2015) New York State Senator Tim Kennedy (D-NY) has called for a statewide ban on triclosan, one of the most prevalent antibacterial compounds found in common household products. Minnesota is the only state to have passed a triclosan  ban. If passed, the New York Bill (Bill S6070) would prohibit the sale of cleaning products containing triclosan, triclocarban, or derivatives of similar antibacterial compounds, and mark a clear victory for human health and safety interests within the state. Triclosan has been used for over 30 years in the U.S., mostly in a medical setting, but more recently in consumer products. Beyond Pesticides has generated extensive documentation  of the potential human and environmental health effects of triclosan and its cousin triclocarban, called on manufacturers to stop using triclosan in its products and retailers to stop carrying these products, and previously petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the cancellation of registered products that contain the antibacterial pesticide. In May 2015, EPA issued its long-awaited response to the Citizen Petition filed by Beyond Pesticides and Food & Water Watch, denying the request. When introduced to the market in 1972, triclosan was confined to hospital and health care settings. Since […]

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Safety Concerns Raised as California Turns to Synthetic Turf to Save Water

Monday, September 28th, 2015

(Beyond Pesticides, September 28, 2015) On September 4, in an attempt to curb the overuse of water on lawns, Governor Jerry Brown of California signed into law Bill (AB 349)  (effective immediately), which prohibits homeowner associations (HOAs) from barring the installation of synthetic turf. Artificial turf has become popular over the years, and is now widely used on athletic fields and lawns across the U.S. While praised as a solution for drought-stricken states, synthetic turf has fallen under scrutiny.  A NBC investigative report raised safety concerns regarding rubber infill in the turf. Parents and administrators are looking for alternatives to replace rubber infill beneath the turf, but unfortunately the available solutions do not address all the dangers associated with artificial turf. With all forms of synthetic turf, toxic pesticides and antimicrobials are still needed for maintenance, putting children and athletes in danger. Crumb rubber, the most common infill material used in synthetic turf systems, has, according to a recent report by Environment and Human Health, Inc., carcinogenic potential and poses a danger to the health of children and athletes. Now, parents and administrators are turning to organic infill as a replacement, which consists of coconut husks, fibers and cork. While […]

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Crops Take Up Pesticides, Drugs from Treated Wastewater Irrigation

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

(Beyond Pesticides, September 23, 2014) A new study finds that the increasingly common use of treated wastewater on food crops can result in contamination from chemicals like DEET, triclosan, and pharmaceutical drugs. The study, titled “Treated Wastewater Irrigation: Uptake of Pharmaceutical and Personal Care Products by Common Vegetables under Field Conditions” and published in Environmental Science & Technology,  measures levels of 19 commonly occurring pharmaceutical and personal care products (PPCPs) in eight  types of vegetables irrigated with treated wastewater under field conditions. The analytes studied include compounds that are commonly detected in treated wastewater, including 16 pharmaceuticals (acetaminophen, caffeine, meprobamate, atenolol, trimethoprim, carbamazepine, diazepam, gemfibrozil, and primidone) and three  personal care products (DEET, triclosan, and triclocarban). The vegetable species included in the  study are carrot, celery, lettuce, spinach, cabbage, cucumber, bell pepper, and tomato, which were included because they are often consumed raw by people and are also among the most important cash crops in arid and semi-arid regions, such as southern California, where there has been a rapid increase in irrigation with treated wastewater. The study points to water shortages in many parts of the world and the U.S. as factors contributing to the increase in use of recycled […]

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School’s Back in Session, Leave the Toxins Behind

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

(Beyond Pesticides, August 28, 2014) It’s back to school time again, which for many of our readers and parents across the country means the unnerving possibility of hazardous pesticide exposure at school from well-intentioned but misguided attempts to create a germ and pest-free environment. Because children face unique hazards from pesticide exposure due to their small size and developing organ systems, using toxic chemicals to get rid of pests and germs harms students much more than it helps. Fortunately, parents and teachers have many options for safer techniques and strategies to implement a pest management program at schools without relying on these toxic chemicals. Additionally, schools can further their students’ education beyond the lessons of the text book by providing habitat for wildlife and growing organic food in a school garden.  By going organic, your child’s school can become a model for communities across the nation. Beyond Pesticides has put together this back-to-school checklist of programs and steps you can take to ensure that you are sending your kids back to a healthier and safer environment. Get Organized and Improve Your School’s Pest Management Program Whether you’re a parent, community activist, landscaper, school administrator or employee, use these steps to […]

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Antibacterial Soap Exposes Health Workers to High Triclosan Levels

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

(Beyond Pesticides, August 21, 2014) In case there wasn’t enough news about the hazards of the ubiquitous antibacterial chemical triclosan in the past week, another study published Tuesday finds additional risks associated with exposure to the pesticide. The study, Health Care Worker Exposures to the Antibacterial Agent Triclosan, led by researchers at University of California San Francisco (UCSF) finds that washing hands with antibacterial soap exposes hospital workers to significant and potentially unsafe levels of triclosan. In the study, published in the August issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, researchers analyze urine samples from two groups of 38 doctors and nurses at two hospitals, identified as Hospital 1 and Hospital 2. Hospital 1 used an antibacterial soap containing 0.3 percent triclosan, while Hospital 2 used plain soap and water. Workers at Hospital 1 had significantly higher levels of triclosan in their urine than workers at Hospital 2. “Antimicrobial soaps can carry unknown risks, and triclosan is of particular concern,” said co-investigator Paul Blanc, MD, a professor of medicine at UCSF who holds the Endowed Chair in Occupational and Environmental Medicine. “Our study shows that people absorb this chemical at work and at home, depending on the products […]

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Triclosan Found in Pregnant Mothers’ Bodies Transfers to Fetus

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

(Beyond Pesticides, August 12, 2014) The presence of triclosan in soaps and consumer products ranging from cutting boards to pencils means constant exposure to a chemical linked to a wide range of adverse health effects. New data to be presented at the 248th National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society, reveals that 100% of pregnant women in a multiethnic urban population in Brooklyn, New York tested positive for triclosan in their urine. In half of the pregnant women tested, the chemical also showed up in umbilical cord blood. “We looked at the exposure of pregnant women and their fetuses to triclosan and triclocarban, two of the most commonly used germ-killers in soaps and other everyday products,” says study co-author Benny Pycke, Ph.D at Arizona State University. “We found triclosan in all of the urine samples from the pregnant women that we screened. We also detected it in about half of the umbilical cord blood samples we took, which means it transfers to fetuses.” In 2004, Beyond Pesticides published The Ubiquitous Triclosan, sounding the alarm on the rising use of an antibacterial chemical never adequately evaluated for adverse effects by the U.S. Food and […]

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Assessment of Triclosan Hazards Supports Call for Canadian Ban

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

(Beyond Pesticides, July 16, 2014) The Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA) and Clean Production Action (CPA) released a comprehensive assessment of the hazards posed by triclosan and its chemical cousin triclocarbon Thursday, calling on the Canadian Government to create a comprehensive phase-out plan for these harmful antibacterial chemicals. The report, which finds that the chemicals are accumulating in the waters of the Great Lakes, also suggests that the U.S. and all provinces and states bordering the Great Lakes should prohibit use of the chemicals. The two antibacterial chemicals are commonly used in consumer products ranging from liquid soaps and toothpaste to kitchen cutting boards, and have come under increased scrutiny amidst human health concerns and lack of efficacy. The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) has been calling for a ban on the household use of triclosan since 2009, and in 2012, the Canadian government declared triclosan as toxic to the environment. In the U.S., Beyond Pesticides has petitioned the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and its counterpart, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (which regulates non-cosmetic products with triclosan) for years to immediately ban triclosan from consumer products, citing endocrine disruption, and other human health concerns. Last December,  FDA announced  it […]

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Take Action: Tell FDA to Remove Triclosan from Consumer Products

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

(Beyond Pesticides, June 9, 2014) Triclosan, the antibacterial pesticide found in numerous hand soaps, toothpastes, and other cosmetics, has had a ubiquitous presence on the consumer market for over 30 years. But due to public pressure led by Beyond Pesticides, our allies, and concerned supporters, many manufacturers have been washing their hands of triclosan. Now after years of inaction, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is going to require data to support triclosan’s claims of being “safe and effective.” The time is now to let the agency know that triclosan is NOT safe or effective for human and environmental health. Raise your voice with a unique public comment to FDA! Use the sample letter below for guidance. Rising Evidence Against Safety Beyond Pesticides has generated extensive documentation  of the potential human and environmental health effects of triclosan and its cousin triclocarban. Studies show that triclosan can interfere with thyroid and estrogen hormones, and may promote the progression of cancer cells. This is alarming given that the CDC has found that 75% of the U.S. population contain triclosan in their bodies, even in breast milk, and at levels that are rising. Triclosan is an endocrine disruptor and has been shown […]

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Minnesota Bans Hazardous Antibacterial (Triclosan) in Consumer Personal Care Cleaning Products

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

(Beyond Pesticides, May 22, 2014) The highly toxic and controversial antibacterial/antimicrobial pesticide triclosan has been banned from consumer personal care cleaning products in the state of Minnesota by an act of the state legislature. This public health measure,  SF 2192, signed by  the Governor last week, states that “no person shall offer for retail sale in Minnesota any cleaning product that that contains triclosan and is used by consumers for sanitizing or hand and body cleansing.”  The ban, along with the growing number of companies voluntarily removing triclosan from their products, responds to the concerns that environmental groups, led by Beyond Pesticides, have expressed on the health and environmental impacts of triclosan, which includes cross-resistance to bacterial infections with antibiotics.  Over the last week the Minnesota legislature has been on a roll in defending the environment and human health from the toxic effects of synthetic pesticides, including the enactment of  labeling legislation,  HF 2798, which will inform consumers about bee-friendly plants.   The triclosan ban legislation, which will take effect on  January  1, 2017, was  signed by Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton on May 16, 2014  after it had passed both the House and Senate the week previously. One of  the […]

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Beyond Pesticides’ Decade-Long Campaign Leads FDA to Bar Antibacterial Soaps

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

(Beyond Pesticides, December 17, 2013) A new rule proposed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires manufacturers of antibacterial hand soaps, body washes, and other consumer goods to prove that their products are both safe for long-term use and more effective than regular bar soap in order to remain on the market. This announcement, though long-delayed, represents a positive step towards reining in the unnecessary use of antibacterial chemicals at a time when top-level government scientists at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have asserted that we’ve reached “the end of antibiotics.”  With the publication of its article The Ubiquitous Triclosan: A common antibacterial agent exposed  in 2004, Beyond Pesticides began a campaign to ban triclosan because of it cross resistance with antibiotics, endocrine disrupting effects, and lack of benefits. “Numerous studies have shown that antibacterial soaps cause more harm than any of their perceived benefits,” said Nichelle Harriott, staff scientist  at Beyond Pesticides. “For the protection of human health and the environment, we urge the FDA to move quickly to get these products off of the market.” FDA’s new rule, announced Monday, will be open for public comment for 180 days and manufacturers will […]

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Proctor and Gamble to Eliminate Triclosan from Its Products by 2014

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

(Beyond Pesticides, September 10, 2013) With mounting pressure from consumers and public advocacy organizations, multinational manufacturer Procter and Gamble (P&G) announced that it will eliminate the harmful antibacterial chemical triclosan from its products by 2014. P&G’s notice is the latest in a growing trend across the county, as both governments and private companies continue to move away from the use this dangerous and unnecessary substance.  In August 2012, the health care and cosmetics corporation Johnson and Johnson announced its own phase out of triclosan. Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton announced in March of this year that all state-run agencies would stop purchasing products that contain triclosan. Colgate Palmolive announced in 2011 that it would reformulate many of its products to take out triclosan, but note that its mainstay Colgate Total brand toothpaste still contains the chemical. Triclosan is currently used in a wide variety of products, including hand soaps, clothing, kitchenware, deodorants, and cosmetics. P&G’s website does not list the specific products from which it  will be removing triclosan, instead explaining that the only remaining uses of triclosan are in the company’s antibacterial dish soap, professional hand soap, and some other personal care products (P&G is the maker of brands such […]

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Think Green, Practice Organic This Semester!

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

(Beyond Pesticides, August 14, 2013) With another school year upon us, this can be an exciting and busy time of the year for parents and teachers as children prepare for the first day back. During this hectic time, it’s important to remember that children may face unexpected dangers at school from well-intentioned but misguided attempts to create a germ and pest-free environment through the use of pesticides. Students are better served when schools use environmentally friendly products and practice integrated pest management techniques.   Additionally, schools can further their students’ education outside the classroom by providing habitat for wildlife and growing organic food in a school garden.   By thinking green and going organic, your child’s school can become a model for the type of change that’s occurring in communities across the nation. Beyond Pesticides has put together this back-to-school guide to help safeguard your kids from dangerous chemicals at school. Use this list to start the new school year right and ensure that you are sending your kids back to a healthier and safer environment. Fight Germs Without Triclosan Because of its link to adverse health effects – including asthma, cancer and learning dis ­abilities, triclosan has no place […]

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FDA to Review Triclosan After Decades of Delay

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

(Beyond Pesticides, May 7, 2013) After 40 years of delay, the Associated Press reports that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will rule on the safety of the antibacterial chemical triclosan this year. Triclosan is present in hundreds of consumer products ranging from antibacterial soaps, deodorants, toothpastes, cosmetics, fabrics, toys, and other household and personal care products, appearing in some of these products in a formulation known as Microban. The agency’s review comes amid growing pressure from politicians and consumer advocates concerning the safety of this chemical in terms of both human health and the wider environment. In 1972, Congress required FDA to set guidelines for many common antibacterial chemicals found in over-the-counter soaps and scrubs. FDA published tentative guidelines for chemicals used in liquid hand soaps and washes by 1978, stating triclosan was “not generally recognized as safe and effective.” This was due to a lack of scientific research demonstrating the chemical’s safety and effectiveness. FDA published several draft guidelines over the years but never finalized the results. This has allowed companies to keep the chemical in their products. Last summer, FDA said its triclosan review would be completed by the end of 2012. The agency then pushed […]

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Toxic Contamination Remains Widespread In the Chesapeake Bay

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

(Beyond Pesticides, January 23, 2013) A new federal report finds toxic contamination remains widespread in the Chesapeake Bay, with severe impacts in some places, which health and environmental advocates say lends support to their push in Maryland for legislative action on pesticides and other hazardous chemicals. In spite of some cleanup, the health of the Bay has not significantly improved. The report, “Technical Report on Toxic Contaminants in the Chesapeake Bay and its Watershed: Extent and Severity of Occurrence and Potential Biological Effects” is based on a review of integrated water-quality assessment reports from the jurisdictions in the Bay watershed (Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C.), Federal and State reports, and articles in scientific journals. It notes that nearly three-fourths of the Bay’s tidal waters are “fully or partially impaired” by toxic chemicals, with people warned to limit fish consumption from certain areas. Contamination is severe in a handful of “hot spots” around the Bay, including Baltimore’s harbor, largely a legacy of past industrial and shipping activity. Previous reports have called on federal, state and local government to accelerate research into what threats chemical contamination may pose to the Bay, and to step up efforts […]

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Johnson and Johnson to Phase Out Triclosan, Regulators Remain Unresponsive

Friday, August 17th, 2012

(Beyond Pesticides, August 17, 2012) Part of an increasing trend, health care and cosmetics giant Johnson and Johnson has announced that it will soon begin phasing out a number of potentially dangerous chemicals from its personal care brands, including the antibacterial triclosan. Beyond Pesticides and other groups, which have petitioned the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to remove triclosan from a vast array of consumer products, have urged companies like Johnson and Johnson to take action on the pesticide in the face of inadequate regulation to protect human health and the environment. Along with other chemicals such as formaldehyde and 1,4 dioxane, the company cites consumer concern over the safety of triclosan as among its reasons for the alteration in its products. While the company downplayed any need for concern over the safety of triclosan, it also hinted that it was uncomfortable with growing body of science linking triclosan to a number of health concerns. The phase out is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2015. On a website the company developed specifically regarding the chemical phase out, it stated, in part, “In recent years, some questions have been raised […]

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Researchers Show Impaired Muscle Function from Antibacterial Chemical, Call on Regulators to Reconsider Consumer Uses

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

(Beyond Pesticides, August 16, 2012) The antibacterial chemical triclosan, found in popular personal care products such as Colgate ® Total toothpaste and Dial ® Liquid Hand Soap, hinders muscle contractions at a cellular level, slows swimming in fish, and reduces muscular strength in mice, according to scientists at the University of California (UC) Davis, and the University of Colorado. UC Davis’s press release explains that the chemical’s effects are so striking that the study “provides strong evidence that triclosan could have effects on animal and human health at current levels of exposure.” The study, “Triclosan impairs excitation—contraction coupling and Ca2+ dynamics in striated muscle,” published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, enlarges a growing body of work linking triclosan to human and environmental health issues. In “test tube” experiments, triclosan impairs the ability of isolated heart muscle cells and skeletal muscle fibers to contract. Specifically, researchers evaluated the effects of triclosan on molecular channels in muscle cells that control the flow of calcium ions, creating muscle contractions. Normally, electrical stimulation (“excitation”) of isolated muscle fibers under experimental conditions evokes a muscle contraction, a phenomenon known as “excitation-contraction coupling” (ECC), the fundamental basis of any muscle movement, including […]

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Citing Lack of Efficacy, EPA Orders Hospital Disinfectant Removed from Market

Monday, April 30th, 2012

(Beyond Pesticides, April 30, 2012) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has ordered the manufacturer of an antimicrobial disinfectant intended for use in hospitals to remove the product from sale. Citing a violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), EPA issued a Stop Sale, Use, or Removal Order (SSURO) on April 16 to Zep, Inc. for its product “ZEP Formula 165.” EPA determined through its Antimicrobial Testing Program (ATP) that this antimicrobial disinfectant was, contrary to label claims, ineffective against the debilitating and potentially fatal human pathogen Mycobacterium Tuberculosis (pictured right). EPA identified multiple FIFRA labeling violations after analyzing a sample of the product, which it collected on May 26, 2011. FIFRA requires a pesticide labeled as an antimicrobial pesticide to “disinfect, sanitize, reduce or mitigate growth or development of microbiological organisms.” When laboratory analysis established that “ZEP Formula 165” used in accordance with the label instructions was not effective against Mycobacterium Tuberculosis, the false label claim constituted a FIFRA violation. EPA cited the manufacturer for a second violation after determining that the sample it collected contained an amount of the active ingredient Para-tertiary-amyl phenyl that exceeded the upper certified limit that was established for that ingredient in […]

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Canada To Declare Triclosan Toxic to Environment

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

(Beyond Pesticides, March 28, 2012) The Canadian government is set to declare the bacteria killer found in many toothpastes, mouthwashes and anti-bacterial soaps as toxic to the environment, a move which could see the use of the chemical curtailed sharply in Canada. Triclosan, the chemical in question, has been linked to numerous human and environmental health effects and has been the subject of petitions calling for its ban from consumer products. Health Canada has been probing the effects of triclosan on the body’s endocrine system and whether the antibacterial agent contributes to the development of antibiotic resistance along with the effect of widespread use on the environment. The draft risk assessment finds triclosan to be toxic to the environment but but does not find enough evidence to say it is hazardous to human health. The formal proposal to list the chemical as toxic to the environment will be published Friday. Triclosan exploded on to the marketplace in hundreds of consumer products ranging from antibacterial soaps, deodorants, toothpastes, cosmetics, fabrics, toys, and other household and personal care products. While antibacterial products are marketed as agents that protect and safeguard against potential harmful bacteria, studies conclude that antibacterial soaps show no health […]

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Report Highlights Risk From Antibacterial Chemicals In Clothing

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

(Beyond Pesticides, December 21, 2011) The Swedish Chemicals Agency (Kemi) has published an analysis of the antibacterial chemicals triclosan, triclocarban and silver textile products that finds these antibacterial chemicals to significantly leach out of treated products after washing. In the case of triclosan and triclocarban, about half or more of the original content is washed out after ten washes. The report questions the necessity of antibacterial textiles and highlights concerns about the increasing use of antibacterial products, and the hazards these substances pose to waterways and human health. The antibacterial treatment is usually marketed and labeled with the stated purpose of preventing odors in textiles. The Swedish Chemicals Agency analyzed 30 textile articles (English summary on page 7), specifically three antibacterial agents incorporated into the fabric, including silver (nanosilver), triclosan, and triclocarban. Concentrations of the antibacterials in fabrics fell after washing. In the case of triclosan and triclocarban, about half or more of the original content was washed out after ten washes. In the case of silver, the original concentration and washed-out content varied to a large extent. After ten washes, 10-98 percent of the silver had been washed out of the textiles. After three washes, half of the silver […]

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Industry Study Touts ‘Safety’ of Triclosan Soaps, Dismissing Independent Adverse Effects Data

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

(Beyond Pesticides, October 12, 2011) A new industry-funded study that claims to “Reaffirm Safe Use of Triclosan, Triclocarban in Antibacterial Soaps and Washes,” concludes that triclosan and triclocarban soaps do not facilitate antibiotic resistance and antibiotic cross-resistance. The study, sponsored by the American Cleaning Institute and the Personal Care Products Council, long supporters of the antibacterial pesticide triclosan, dismisses previous independent data that has identified triclosan as a promoter of antibacterial resistance and calls for precautionary measures against the unnecessary but widespread use of antibacterial agents. The study, “Investigation of Antibiotic and Antibacterial Susceptibility and Resistance In Staphylococcus From The Skin Of Users and Nonusers Of Antibacterial Wash Products In Home Environments,” found that there was no statistically significant difference in antibiotic resistance in the bacteria, Staphylococcus aureus, exposed to triclosan and triclocarban soaps compared with those not exposed. The study collected swab samples from the forearms of participants that used triclosan, triclocarban, and a control group that used neither. The study’s conclusions are not surprising since this industry has been a vocal and active promoter of the antibacterial products they manufacture and represent. Beyond Pesticides has previously responded to the American Cleaning Institute’s (formerly the Soap and Detergent Association) […]

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EPA Cited for Ineffective Regulation of Antimicrobials

Friday, January 7th, 2011

(Beyond Pesticides, January 7, 2011) The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a report criticizing the agency’s lack of regulation concerning antimicrobial products. Citing a number of failures, the report finds that the EPA’s Antimicrobial Testing Program (ATP) has been largely inadequate in testing products to ensure safety and efficacy, and has failed to remove products that did not meet program standards. This report is especially of concern because some antimicrobials, such as triclosan, are known to cause dangerous public health and environmental hazards. Triclosan is one of the most prevalent antibacterial compounds found in products ranging from soaps and toothpastes to fabrics and toys. Studies have increasingly linked triclosan (and its chemical cousin triclocarban), to a range of adverse health and environmental effects, from skin irritation, allergy susceptibility, bacterial, endocrine disruption and compounded antibiotic resistant, tainted water, and dioxin contamination to destruction of fragile aquatic ecosystems. Through ATP, antimicrobial products including hospital disinfectants and tuberculocides are meant to be tested to ensure that they meet health standards and that the claims on the product labels are accurate. However, OIG has found that “EPA’s implementation of the ATP has not delivered […]

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