Antibacterials May Cause Cancer?

April 18, 2011 at 5:39 pm 1 comment

You may have heard about the problems caused by using too much anti-bacterial soaps or anti-biotics due to bacteria developing a resistance to these. This is a very serious problem that is affecting the United States at a massive scale. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls antibiotic resistance one of the most pressing health issues facing the U.S.

What you may not know is about the studies that have shown that anti-bacterial soaps and other products which contain its common ingredients such as triclosan and triclocarban, react with chlorine in tap water (used widely across the nation to disinfect water) by forming chloroform, which has been implicated in the past for possibly causing cancer.


Their results show that triclosan-containing products (that is, antibacterial soaps) add about 15 – 40% to the amount of chloroform that could potentially touch the skin of users when compared to the use of just tap-water alone.

Triclosan is found in many products that require the use of water with them, such as soaps, shampoos, deodorants, toothpastes and sponges.

And most would be surprised to know that an FDA panel found that antibacterial soap was no more effective than regular soap at preventing infection.

From the FDA’s website:
“At this time, FDA does not have evidence that triclosan added to antibacterial soaps and body washes provides extra health benefits over soap and water. Consumers concerned about using hand and body soaps with triclosan should wash with regular soap and water.

“Animal studies have shown that triclosan alters hormone regulation”.

“Other studies in bacteria have raised the possibility that triclosan contributes to making bacteria reistant to antibiotics”.

It’s upsetting to know that so many products contain triclosan and put our health in risk without even being necessary.

Environmental Concerns
Most of these products get washed down the drain, where they enter our waterways and are then transported widely throughout the environment. Triclosan is one of the most frequently detected chemicals in streams across the U.S. and both triclosan and triclocarban are found in high concentrations in sediments and sewage sludge where they can persist for decades.

In the environment, antibacterial compounds could disrupt aquatic ecosystems and pose a potential risk to wildlife. Traces of triclosan have been found in earthworms from agricultural fields and Atlantic dolphins. In the lab, triclosan has been shown to interfere with development of tadpoles into frogs, a process that is dependent on thyroid hormone.

Stay safe:
-Avoid anything labeled “antibacterial” or “antimicrobial” which contains triclosan or triclocarban, such as soaps, gels, cleansers, toothpaste, cosmetics and other personal care products.
-Avoid other “antibacterial” or “antimicrobial” items such as cutting boards, towels, shoes, clothing and bedding.
-Use regular soap and hot water to clean effectively.
-Use alcohol-based hand sanitizers when you don’t have access to running water.

Take Action:
Urge the FDA to pull products containing triclosan and triclocarban from store shelves in order to protect public health.
When you pledge not to buy cosmetics that contain triclosan, you’re sending a clear message to manufacturers and retailers that you want safe, effective products that don’t contain unnecessary toxic chemicals like triclosan.

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Entry filed under: Health Hazards, Videos and links. Tags: , , , , , , , .

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