FDA Targets Antibacterial Soaps, May Finally Submit Triclosan Safety Review This Year
May 6, 2013 1:42 PM
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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.
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RE: Its about time
5/6/2013 5:51:08 PM
(I swear that the gluten free diet is a cultural fad, not a condition)
I am with you there. The paleo diet fad which excludes wheat etc.. is nonsense as well. The idea that paleolithic people didn't eat grass grains goes against the whole domestication of wheat in the first place i.e. they domesticated wheat because they wanted to eat more of it...
RE: Its about time
5/7/2013 12:28:07 AM
There are conditions, usually autoimmune diseases, that cause you to be more sensitive to certain types of food. Anything that sets the immune system against your own body, even temporarily, can cause permanent damage over repeated exposures. Look around, just because some people fall under the kneejerk category, doesn't mean it's all bunk.
Some people are genuinely gluten sensitive. I know someone that has to avoid it because it negatively impacts her and causes her systemic schleroderma to flare up, for lack of a better term. I know someone else that has Celiac disease and Crohn's disease (which seem to go hand in hand), and also has issues with gluten. That person also developed cancer (many autoimmune diseases are linked to certain cancers as a result of repeated damage caused by the immune system lashing out, though it obviously could be coincidence too).
My point being is that it isn't entirely a "fad", not for some people at least. Now, if you want to debate the How and Why so many people are being affected by diseases like this... that's a different story entirely. Perhaps we are simply more aware of what exactly is causing our problems. Or perhaps it has something to do with the large amount of chemicals we're exposed to all the time, like Triclosan, and even artificial sweeteners in diet soda.
RE: Its about time
5/7/2013 11:50:52 AM
Not talking about people that have problems with gluten those people typically say "i have a problem with Gluten". The people i am talking about are the ones that maintain that its not natural to each food that contains gluten because paleolithic people some how had the perfect diet which didn't include it and somehow their diet is better and therefore the reason the have an issue with gluten.
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