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Animal models were used to show reduced skeletal and cardiac muscle contractions after exposure to triclosan

A chemical commonly found in hand soaps (among other household products) has been found to be harmful to both humans and the environment. 
The chemical is called triclosan, and it's a chemical that can be found in hand soaps, toothpastes, mouthwash, deodorants, clothes, bedding, carpets, toys, etc. It was introduced 40 years ago to prevent bacterial infections in hospitals. Over time, it has been used more and more for household purposes. 
However, researchers at the University of California - Davis and the University of Colorado have discovered that triclosan actually affects muscular strength in mice, swimming in fish and muscular contractions in skeletal and cardiac cells. 
The researchers reached these conclusions by first exposing living mice to doses of triclosan similar to that humans and animals would be in contact with on a daily basis. After 20 minutes of exposure, the mice had a 25 percent drop in heart function. They also had an 18 percent decrease in grip strength after an hour of exposure.
Next, researchers exposed fathead minnows to triclosan in order to see how the chemical affects life in waterways. After swimming in water containing triclosan for one week, the minnows experienced a huge drop in swimming speeds when participating in swimming tests of both normal conditions and those that simulate the threat of a predator chasing them.
Researchers then exposed isolated heart and skeletal cells to triclosan. The damage was significant, where triclosan disrupted molecular channels in muscle cells that guide the flow of calcium ions. This prevented protein communication that acts as these channels, leading to muscle failure in both the cardiac and skeletal cells. 
"The effects of triclosan on cardiac function were really dramatic," said Nipavan Chiamvimonvat, co-author of the study from UC Davis. "Although triclosan is not regulated as a drug, this compound acts like a potent cardiac depressant in our models."
More research is likely needed before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will do anything about it, but the researchers aren't looking to ban the chemical entirely -- they just want to greatly decrease its ubiquity in household products. 
A separate study in 2010 also showed negative side effects associated with triclosan. University of Michigan researchers discovered that triclosan caused immune system problems in children under 18. 

Source: UC Davis

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That's what you get
By Dr of crap on 8/16/2012 9:17:55 AM , Rating: 5
They've been saying for years that anti-bacterial soaps are bad and are creating super strains. Yet they continue to sell them at record paces. Then the no soap bacterial killing gels became the "thing" to have. It's almost like some status thing to use the stupid gels.

So now we've been exposed to some toxic thing that means we can't do pull ups anymore.

Oh the fatness that will come from this!

RE: That's what you get
By Manch on 8/16/2012 9:26:48 AM , Rating: 5
Yup, and people telling you to wash your hands after you pee were doing so to make sure you'd be too weak to escape when the overlords come to enslave us all...

RE: That's what you get
By MrBlastman on 8/16/2012 11:17:33 AM , Rating: 3
As Don King always says (and I like his mentality here), to paraphrase from memory:

Which do you think is better--touching someone elses d*ck to your d*ck when you pee [after shaking their hands], or having someone else touch your d*ck when you shake theirs?

(Don washes his hands before he goes pee).

Oh, and soap is naturally anti-bacterial. No need for additives, good ole' lye works just fine.

RE: That's what you get
By geddarkstorm on 8/16/2012 12:18:08 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think anything can beat lye for bacterial/viral killing power. It's also why it's so harsh on hands and dries them out; and that is why people moved away from it, because they didn't want their hands to be "rough". Oh humanity, vanity will be your downfall yet.

RE: That's what you get
By thurston2 on 8/16/2012 4:49:00 PM , Rating: 2
Soap is not made with lye and lard anymore generally.

RE: That's what you get
By Jeffk464 on 8/17/2012 9:47:03 AM , Rating: 2
Hey, I was a mechanic for years so I also washed my hands before peeing. Who would have thought I have anything in common with Don King.

RE: That's what you get
By FITCamaro on 8/16/2012 9:57:55 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed. I have used hand sanitizer like once. I refuse to use it. Getting germs on our hands and fighting them off is how our immune system stays strong. We haven't survived by being bubble boys.

I bought a bunch of school supplies for needy families yesterday and one of the things on list was hand sanitizer. I really didn't want to buy it since I think its stupid but buckled.

I honestly believe this is why we have so many kids growing up today with severe allergies and other issues that used to be far less common.

RE: That's what you get
By Natch on 8/16/2012 11:29:20 AM , Rating: 2
Don't know about you, or anyone else, but the smell of most hand sanitizers makes me want to retch. I'd just as soon go wash with soap (NOT the anti-bacterial, please!) and water. Like my parents taught me, as a kid!

RE: That's what you get
By MrBlastman on 8/16/2012 12:53:00 PM , Rating: 2
I think your philosophy is great.

I bought a bunch of school supplies for needy families yesterday and one of the things on list was hand sanitizer. I really didn't want to buy it since I think its stupid but buckled.

With a wife as a teacher, though, I have witnessed firsthand the power of snot-nosed kids wiping their faces and then pawing the teacher and everyone else immediately afterwards. Oh, they also smear it over every surface in the classroom.

One day you can have a perfectly fine, healthy class and the next, more than half of it is puking all over your pants, sh0es (STUPID SPAM FILTER FIX THIS PLEASE), carpet, tables, chalkboard etc. Then you have a sick wife coming home... that gets your two-year old sick. There goes the weekend!

So, for classrooms, I can totally see why you'd have it available. Sickness only hampers the educational process.

RE: That's what you get
By FITCamaro on 8/16/2012 1:37:57 PM , Rating: 3
Then you have a sick wife coming home... that gets your two-year old sick.

And ruins your happy time.

RE: That's what you get
By MrBlastman on 8/16/2012 2:02:28 PM , Rating: 2
In a Rodney Dangerfield voice:

I'm married with a kid; my only happy time is when I get to sit down in the bed and get to know Rosie and her five friends! And even then, sometimes they don't even want to touch me!

*bu dum dum dump!* (drummer plays a tune)

RE: That's what you get
By amagriva on 8/19/2012 9:48:48 AM , Rating: 2
Gee! Can't believe how redneck you are...

RE: That's what you get
By Ammohunt on 8/16/2012 10:21:06 AM , Rating: 3
Let’s not spread FUD most hand sanitizer gel contains denatured ethyl alcohol as the disinfectant not triclosan. Triclosan is an ingredient in anti-bacterial hand soaps which are banned in my house because they can’t filter it out at water treatment plants. Since I live in a head water state I don’t want to willing contribute to potential poisoning the people downstream.

RE: That's what you get
By chromal on 8/16/2012 11:03:33 AM , Rating: 2
I've been skeptical of anti-bacterial additives to soap, preferring good old fashioned sanitizing alcohol, which works instantly and we collectively pretty well understand what it does. But seriously, walk down the hand sanitizers aisle at your local supermarket and read the ingredients list. If it's anything like what's available locally for me, they will have maybe one or two products with alcohol, and then 20 or 30 products with triclosan or another similar antibacterial additive. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers feel cool because they evaporate so fast, and they, well, smell like alcohol. Oh well, just one more reason to use tried and true, not new and fangled.

RE: That's what you get
By FaaR on 8/16/2012 11:41:32 AM , Rating: 2
Unless you have some kind of immuno deficiency you don't NEED to sanitize your hands, with alcohol or anything else. Just wash 'em, with regular soap and water after you've been to the bathroom or before you handle food.

Bacteria is normal to have on our hands. No need to freak out over it. Actually our skin depends on bacteria to maintain itself properly; excessively washing and sanitizing the skin distorts its pH level and causes dehydration etc. Both of which is bad for us.

RE: That's what you get
By geddarkstorm on 8/16/2012 12:38:35 PM , Rating: 2
You're spot on in all you say.

Our commensal bacteria (microflora, as they are often called) are important to our health. They help regulate everything from our immune function to hormones. Of course, when people talk about them most are thinking about the bacteria in our guts, which are required for the digestion of our food and the production of vitamin K. But our skin bacteria are also critical for the long term healthy function of our skin (the biggest organ of our body).

Our harmless microflora also protect us from diseases and nasty bacteria that do cause damage.

The more we learn, the more we find the whole antibacterial fad was a really stupid idea. It's important in specific times and cases, but throwing antibacterials around everywhere is like using a nuke to get rid of an anthill. Many times the fallout is far worst than the problem it was trying to solve; and nevermind the resulting radioactive super ants which are now immune to the nukes and tearing through our cities.

RE: That's what you get
By geddarkstorm on 8/16/2012 12:31:40 PM , Rating: 2
If it's already in some of our water supplies, at biologically active levels, that explains a lot.

Recently, there was a paper that--through many different and independent measurements of activity and calorie burning--found there was no significant difference in energy expenditure between us living the modern life style, and hunter gatherer societies on the African savanna. So why are we fat? The over availability and terrible quality of food are main suspects; but also all these untested chemicals we are throwing around like cheap cigars.

How did no one notice the extreme effects of trilosan till now? 20 years of use (roughly when the obesity epidemic began, ironically), and just now we see how badly it depresses the heart and skeletal muscles? Sure, this isn't shown in humans yet, but if it affects our cultured cells, and animals as diverse phylogenetically as mice to fish, then you can safely bet it does the same to us in vivo.

Just... sigh. Been telling people for a long time there's something slipping into our diets that is messing up our metabolisms, in addition to calories and activity. And this certainly would screw over your basal metabolic rate and drive fat production/insulin resistance, since the body's muscles are so critical for regulating those functions.

There's a lot left unexplored in this (such as how easily it is absorbed through wet, scrubbing skin; or what this does in other organ tissues, and by what pathways this is working), but the correlation with growing trilosan uses to metabolic disorders is pretty obvious, and the implications pretty bad. Doesn't mean causation, as that will take a lot more and stronger evidence, and it could just be one contributing factor even if it is contributing at all; but these results are sobering.

Also think what this could do to the elderly, and those who are sick and already weakened.

RE: That's what you get
By FITCamaro on 8/16/2012 1:42:06 PM , Rating: 2
Obesity exists because people can't put down the damn spoon. And we live in a society where people put more of an emphasis on having iPhones and HDTVs and driving a "ballin" car than eating well.

RE: That's what you get
By geddarkstorm on 8/16/2012 3:29:20 PM , Rating: 3
Even if that explains it all for adults, it does not explain the growing rates for children, who's metabolisms should not be capable of sustaining obesity (should be no way for them to hold enough food in their bodies for that, when having proper metabolic function).

Moreover, this does not explain other first world nations which eat comparable amounts of food yet have far lower obesity rates. Take for instance Japan's 3.2% rate, Italy's 8.5% rate, France's 9.4% rate, Canada's 14.3% rate, or the UK's 23% rate, versus the US's 30.6% rate.

In fact, the second place to us is Mexico, with a 24.2% rate of obesity.

Also, Canada beats out us for the per dollar GDP spent on McDonalds (0.109 percent for US, 0.113 percent for Canada, with New Zeland spending the most on McDonalds). What the US truly wins at is soft drink consumption, by double the second place.

Yes, the US does have the highest calorie consumption, but barely, and if you look at all the other nations by calorie consumption, you do not see a correlation with obesity. For instance, the US per capita takes in 3770 kilocalories per day, while Austria (the second place) takes in 3760 per day, yet we have a 30.6% obesity rate while Austria is at 9.3%! Meanwhile, Mexico who is second place in obesity takes in 3250 kilocalories per day per capita, and is 31st down the list from highest to lowest.

Canada also takes in more Calories per day than UK (3530 vs 3440 respectively), yet Canada is substantially lower in obesity rate than the UK.

See, it -is not- simply the number of calories. It is not simply the activity level. The problem is way more complex which is why we biologists have not found a counter to it yet.

RE: That's what you get
By Ammohunt on 8/16/2012 4:42:47 PM , Rating: 2
I think it would be an error to try and pin our diseases or disorders on a single environmental contaminate. its more likely a cocktail of poisons in the environment that varies based on where you live. Colorado has the highest diagnosed cases of Multiple Sclerosis than anywhere else in the states why? Perhaps the atmospheric nuclear testing done here in the west that blew tons of radioactive debris into the atmosphere which was deposited all over the United States by prevailing winds. Strontium-90, caesium-134 and caesium-137(and other nastiness) all products of fission and readily absorbed by our bodies and plants/animals in our food supply. And don’t forget pesticides, chemical additives to everyday consumer items along with heavy metals which are pretty much everywhere in the soil air and water. My opinion is Triclosan is an unnecessary additive to soap when simply rubbing your hands with plain old soap for 30 seconds gets the majority of bad bacteria.

RE: That's what you get
By geddarkstorm on 8/16/2012 4:55:24 PM , Rating: 2
Absolutely true. I agree with all you say, except I am not sure about MS and a connection with radioactive isotopes. MS is generally related to other factors and not radioactivity, as far as I know (and I could be outdated here). But it is a good example none the less.

There are a variety of factors in play, and total calories still have a role. But we are inundated with synthetic compounds these days, yet no one has paid much heed (if any) to how these things might be impacting our bioenergetics chronically. Toxicity for instance is typically tested with acute trials, not chronic. Fullerene, which has been around for well over 20 years, finally got its first chronic trial (and was found to double life span in rats, ironically enough), for instance, despite it being everywhere now since it's the chemical base for nanotubes and other carbon based nanotech.

But, any compound that reduced heart contractility by 25% (disrupting calcium channels, and affecting all skeletal muscle contractions) in live animals at the levels commonly encountered through such soaps, is something to immediately avoid. And it will very likely have a profound effect on metabolism over chronic periods of time; as muscles are one of the primary regulators of your insulin sensitivity and fat storage versus burning/waste signals. Start disrupting their ability to function, and you'll disrupt whole body energy balance.

RE: That's what you get
By Ammohunt on 8/16/2012 10:20:11 PM , Rating: 2
Whatever happened to phenotypes for humans? People now are classified by their BMI which it total BS since it doesn't account for muscle being heavier than fat. /rant
I agree body chemistry is so incredibly complex there is now good way to tell if an otherwise benign industrial chemical is acting on a cell receptor or as a hormone and just how that would manifest as symptoms. I think back when I grew up when leaded gas was the standard; I like to say before lead was poisonous and wonder as a child how much lead did I inadvertently inhale from exhaust?

RE: That's what you get
By Jeffk464 on 8/17/2012 10:30:26 AM , Rating: 2
What your saying is true, the reason they use BMI is its cheap and simple. More effective tests like the water displacement test are much more accurate. Or you could just have an expert that pinches people's fat around their mid sections and says, your fat. :)

To be fair the BMI does include a pretty wide range of normal weight to include different body types. It just misses the super thin framed and weight lifters.

RE: That's what you get
By Ammohunt on 8/17/2012 2:20:58 PM , Rating: 2
what frightens me is that the BMI will be used by the Government now to make judgements on what healthcare you receive or don't receive.

RE: That's what you get
By Jeffk464 on 8/17/2012 9:53:24 AM , Rating: 2
Cool I just looked up the ingredients on my generic walmart hand soap and no Triclosan and no advertised anti-bacterial.

By the way I rarely get sick, one thing I do though is open doors in public places with the back of my hand when possible. I think one of the main ways you get sick is by touching public door handles and then touching your face or when I was a mechanic people's steering wheels.

RE: That's what you get
By hubb1e on 8/16/2012 2:26:43 PM , Rating: 2
The gels are typically common ethyl alchohol. I just looked at my wife's hand gel and it is 65% alchohol. And we all know the side effects of that already...

RE: That's what you get
By geddarkstorm on 8/16/2012 3:35:32 PM , Rating: 2
Alcohol functions by disrupting cellular membranes (acting as a detergent) and causing dessication. Dessication has a near identical effect on biological molecules, such as DNA, as being blasted with the radiation from a nuclear bomb does. Consequently, organisms with high dessication tolerance also have high radiation tolerance.

RE: That's what you get
By CZroe on 8/16/2012 4:57:28 PM , Rating: 3
No "they" haven't: Idiots have. "They" implies the experts. Experts aren't stupid enough to confuse antibiotic and antibacterial.

A "super-strain" is one that develops a resistance to an antibiotic. If it was never used as an antibiotic, then the resistance to it only affects the intended use (topical disinfectant) and puts us back to square one as far as that particular application goes. Triclosan-resistant bacteria will not be resistant to any antibiotic used in human medicine, which is the very reason we use different antibiotics on livestock and willy-nilly pump them full of it preventatively. As long as improves the bottom line in agriculture, we don't care if it breeds an animal super-strain when it does not reduce the effectiveness of our own antibiotics. That is, we don't care until a super-strain does emerge threatening our livestock as it runs rampant (back-fires).

You are fighting the wrong fight and adding to the misinformation. Fight against over-use in our livestock or something instead.

RE: That's what you get
By Samus on 8/17/2012 1:59:11 AM , Rating: 2
What pisses me off is the lack of non-antibactarial alternatives. Everything is anti-bacterial now and damnit I wan't some bacteria!

There are many chemicals that can be hazardous
By Beenthere on 8/16/2012 9:34:40 AM , Rating: 2
The pros and cons of all chemicals including those found naturally in nature must always be weighed.

By geddarkstorm on 8/16/2012 12:40:40 PM , Rating: 2
Yet the majority of the time are not.

Good, Another Reason...
By Stiggalicious on 8/16/2012 9:52:05 AM , Rating: 2
My entire family has always been incredibly healthy, and that's because we eat well, exercise regularly, and don't mind getting dirty.

Many other families, however, practice their uber-clean constantly-sanitized scared-of-germs lifestyle and yet get sick all the time. Finally I can give them another scary reason why they should stop using that crap. They all live out of fear, so scaring them away from using triclosan will actually help them!

The lesson is clear
By TheDoc9 on 8/16/2012 11:19:37 PM , Rating: 2
Don't keep soap on your skin for 20 minutes.
Don't eat any more than 3 bars of soap in one sitting.
And, for God's sake, don't inject triclosan into your heart!

Why this Study is Washed Up...
By EricMartello on 8/17/2012 7:47:33 PM , Rating: 2
The researchers reached these conclusions by first exposing living mice to doses of triclosan similar to that humans and animals would be in contact with on a daily basis . After 20 minutes of exposure, the mice had a 25 percent drop in heart function. They also had an 18 percent decrease in grip strength after an hour of exposure.

Based on this statement we can infer that the researchers were exposing creatures that are literally 1/600th of a an average 150 lb human's mass to undiluted doses of triclosan in amounts that humans expose themselves to while using any of the laced anti bacterial products.

A typical container of Dial soap is 7.5 OZ with 0.15% of that being triclosan, which means 0.01 oz of triclosan in the entire 7.5 oz container.

If you figure 1 pump of soap is roughly 1/10th of an ounce, that means each time you wash your hands you would be exposing yourself to 0.001 ounces of triclosan.

Going back to the relative mass of a human vs a lab rodent, we're roughly 600-1000 times larger in terms of mass.

If you are exposing a 4 oz rat (a very large rat indeed) to 0.001 oz of triclosan, you would need to expose a 150 lb human to 0.6 oz of the same chemical for the proportions to match.

0.6 ounces of triclosan is 60 times more than an entire container of dial hand soap contains!

The amount of triclosan contained in 1-2 pumps of anti-bacterial soap is miniscule and the percentage of that miniscule amount absorbed through our skin is even smaller - if it were potent enough to cause any kind of effects on human physiology in such minute doses it would warrant tighter regulation by the FDA.

That all being said, I don't think the anti-bacterial soaps do any better than normal soaps for cleaning, and I don't think we should needlessly expose ourselves to chemicals as we're doing that each time we drink a glass of water (read your water processing plant reports to discover all the stuff allowed to remain in your water according to federal standards).

flaming left-wing socialist tripe!
By superstition on 8/16/12, Rating: -1
RE: flaming left-wing socialist tripe!
By FITCamaro on 8/17/2012 6:59:09 AM , Rating: 2
I prefer live as you want, just don't come to me whining because you made a mistake and want me to pay to correct it for you.

By superstition on 8/17/2012 11:13:03 PM , Rating: 1
Exactly. Everyone wants to become an expert in everything. We don't need expertise. We don't need experts. Everyone has bootstraps. Bootstraps, when pulled up, will make people experts in everything so they will be able to live as they want to and take personal responsibility for everything.

“Then they pop up and say ‘Hello, surprise! Give us your money or we will shut you down!' Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that.” -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng referencing patent trolls
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