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Triclosan is found in many household items and may be dangerous

After taking its sweet time, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will make a decision on whether a chemical found in household antibacterial soaps is safe or not. 

The chemical triclosan, which is found in about 75 percent of liquid antibacterial soaps in the United States, has been in question for quite some time now. Animal studies have shown that it could lead to infertility and early puberty -- and lawmakers and advocates want the FDA to make a decision now.

The case involving triclosan dates back as far as 1972. At that time, Congress passed a law that made the FDA set guidelines for antibacterial chemicals. The FDA published its first tentative set of guidelines in 1978 for the liquid soaps, which said that triclosan was not seen as "safe and effective" due to lack of research proving otherwise.

The FDA made many drafts since then, but none were ever finalized. Hence, triclosan was never removed from household products like antibacterial soap, toothpaste, deodorants, bedding, and even toys. 

Last summer, the FDA said the review would be complete by the end of 2012, but that was later pushed to February 2013. We are now in May 2013, and the FDA is being pushed to finalize the review. 

Triclosan is found in antibacterial soap [Image Source: Chicago Tribune]

The FDA was even threatened with a lawsuit by the nonprofit Natural Resources Defense Council in March of this year. 

Right now, the FDA's website states that "the agency does not have evidence that triclosan in antibacterial soaps and body washes provides any benefit over washing with regular soap and water."

In August 2012, researchers at the University of California - Davis and the University of Colorado 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.

While the removal of triclosan could prove to be a nuisance for many industries, companies like Johnson & Johnson have already vowed to remove triclosan from all adult products by 2015. 

There's no exact date planned for the final review by the FDA, but it's expected to come this year -- hopefully. 

Source: CBS News

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why do we need this stuff?
By BRB29 on 5/6/2013 2:29:03 PM , Rating: 2
antibacterial handsoap, dish washing detergent, hand sanitizer, etc... is all unnecessary. Good old soap and water works great and cheaper without messing up your skin and wallet.

When will people realize that good nutrition, exercise and awareness is what will save you from sickness. Your immune system is what will save you. Everyone is so quick to pay for a quick fix that does nothing but cause more problems in the future.

You want something antibacterial, anything high in sodium or alcohol will kill it. In third world countries, people rub salt on chicken pox. Yes it will burn like hell and may leave scars, but it works and doesn't kill you.
The Dead Sea also have nothing living in it because it is too salty.
Doctors rub some alcohol on you before injecting a needle to sterilize the area.

RE: why do we need this stuff?
By MadMan007 on 5/6/2013 4:30:36 PM , Rating: 2
Yup, anti-bacterial chemicals in soap are just a huge marketing crock based on fear and ignorance. Simple 'ivory soap' (ie: plain soap) kills bacteria on the skin perfectly well, it breaks down bacterial cell walls through a very simple chemical process that isn't going to be out-evolved unlike antibiotics.

RE: why do we need this stuff?
By Digimonkey on 5/6/2013 4:51:03 PM , Rating: 2
Regular soap doesn't kill bacteria, but you don't need to anyways. Just thoroughly wash your hands before placing them or anything you touch in your mouth.

RE: why do we need this stuff?
By fredgiblet on 5/6/2013 4:59:56 PM , Rating: 2
anything high in sodium or alcohol will kill it

The solution to being sick is to get REALLY drunk? I'm sure we can get a lot of people behind that.

RE: why do we need this stuff?
By SPOOFE on 5/7/2013 5:13:01 AM , Rating: 2
Wanna break a fever? Few shots of Jack and wrap yourself in a big fat blanket all day, sweat the bastard out.

RE: why do we need this stuff?
By BRB29 on 5/7/2013 11:29:40 AM , Rating: 2
you're an idiot. We're talking about antibacterial hand soap. Anything that soap can do, simple rubbing alcohol or salt can do.

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