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Using antibacterial soaps with triclosan excessively can cause immune system problems in those under 18

Researchers at the University of Michigan have discovered that an overexposure to triclosan in young people and an overexposure to Bisphenol A in adults can have negative health effects on the human body. 

Allison Aiello, study leader and associate professor at the U-M School of Public Health, along with Erin Rees Clayton, co-author of the study at the U-M School of Public Health, have found that triclosan, which is found in antibacterial soaps, may cause allergies in young people while Bisphenol A, which is found in most plastics, can harm the adult immune system. 

Previous research associated with triclosan and Bisphenol A has been conducted on animal models, but this is the first study to show how both toxicants influence human function. 

Triclosan and Bisphenol A belong in a class of environmental toxicants called endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs) and can imitate or affect hormones causing negative health risks in humans. Bisphenol A can be found in plastics and protective linings in food cans, and triclosan can be found in antibacterial soaps, medical devices, toothpastes, pens and diaper bags. 

The U-M researchers came to the conclusion that both triclosan and Bisphenol A can negatively affect the human body by utilizing data from the 2003-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Aiello and Rees Clayton compared cytomegalovirus (CMV) antibody levels and diagnosis of allergies/hay fever with urinary Bisphenol A and triclosan in a sample that consisted of U.S. adults and children over the age of six. 

The results showed that people over the age of 18 with higher levels of Bisphenol A had increased CMV antibody levels. Rees Clayton said that this indicates that the person's "cell-mediated immune system" may not be working correctly. 

In addition, Aiello and Rees Clayton found that those under the age of 18 with high levels of triclosan had an increased risk of developing allergies or hay fever. 

"The triclosan findings in the younger age groups may support the 'hygiene hypothesis,' which maintains living in very clean and hygienic environments may impact our exposure to micro-organisms that are beneficial for development of the immune system," said Aiello.

Aiello also noted that people can be too clean. Using an excessive amount of antibacterial soaps with triclosan during childhood can change the way our immune systems develop by altering the micro-organisms we're normally exposed to. 

Another finding showed that Bisphenol A exposure depends on age. Those over 18 who had higher Bisphenol A levels also had high CMV levels, but for those under 18, the opposite occurred. Researchers believe this means that the timing, quantity and length of exposure determines how the immune system is influenced by Bisphenol A. 

The only issue with this study is that it measured exposure and disease at the same time, which shows only part of the overall picture. 

"It is possible, for example, that individuals who have an allergy are more hygienic because of their condition, and that the relationship we observed is, therefore, not casual or is an example of reverse causation," said Aiello. 

The U-M researchers hope to use this study to continue learning the long-term effects of triclosan and Bisphenol A in humans to see if they can develop a "causal relationship." 

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RE: Just what I've been saying
By amanojaku on 11/29/2010 3:03:36 PM , Rating: 4
Pig-Pen was on to something...

RE: Just what I've been saying
By Hlafordlaes on 11/29/2010 3:34:32 PM , Rating: 3
Indeed! Don't want to gross you fellows out, but due to severe economic strain at one point I was showering once a week. Both the athlete's foot and jock itch I had never been able to eliminate (for 20+ years!!) with daily shower scrubs, powders and creams were immediately conquered by natural skin oils. Gone! Soaps in general have too high a pH.

RE: Just what I've been saying
By Ammohunt on 11/29/2010 5:53:59 PM , Rating: 2
Well...we can't all be dirty hippies! I will stick to regular showers thanks!

RE: Just what I've been saying
By goku on 11/29/2010 8:00:50 PM , Rating: 2
Actually those anti fungal creams work quite well to curing jock itch and the alike. Problem is, people get sweaty down there and unless they can apply the cream at least twice a day and keep that area DRY, it won't work at all. ask me how I know.

RE: Just what I've been saying
By geddarkstorm on 11/30/2010 12:47:12 AM , Rating: 2
How do you know?

Oh, wait, that was rhetorical wasn't it?

RE: Just what I've been saying
By mindless1 on 12/3/2010 8:52:00 PM , Rating: 2
Oil does not kill fungus, and soap pH is not relevant once it has rinsed away. Well, actually, a high pH would actually kill the fungus as it likes slightly acidic pH levels.

It is more likely you had two simultaneous conditions, both sweating too much in these areas without garments that did a far job of wicking away sweat, AND your body pH was probably off from the wrong diet... so I conclude that your change in lifestyle resulted in either less sweating, more breathable clothes, or a change in type or quantity of food and beverage.

"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein

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