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Medicine

Widely Used Antibacterial Chemical May Impair Muscle Function 252

Posted by Soulskill
from the it-wasn't-me,-it-was-the-one-armed-antibacterial-chemical dept.
New submitter daleallan writes "Triclosan, which is widely used in consumer handsoaps, toothpaste, clothes, carpets and trash bags, impairs muscle function in animal studies, say researchers at UC Davis (abstract). It slows swimming in fish and reduces muscle strength in mice. It may even impair the ability of heart muscle cells to contract. The chemical is in everyone's home and pervasive in the environment, the lead researcher says. One million pounds of Triclosan is produced in the U.S. annually and it's found in waterways, fish, dolphins, human urine, blood and breast milk. The researchers say their findings 'Call for a dramatic reduction in use.' It's in my Colgate Total toothpaste, and in fact, preventing gingivitis is the only use that may be worthwhile, although this makes me think twice about continuing to brush with it." This isn't the first time Triclosan has been in the news over safety concerns.
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Widely Used Antibacterial Chemical May Impair Muscle Function

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  • by korgitser (1809018) on Wednesday August 15, 2012 @05:24AM (#40994687)

    ... that a substance used to harm life would harm life?

    • by HungryHobo (1314109) on Wednesday August 15, 2012 @05:43AM (#40994775)

      there's lots of things which harm only some kinds of life.

      Your eyes are protected by Lysozyme: enzymes which attack bacteria but it doesn't harm your eyes.

      Lots of things are harmful to one organism and not another: Theobromine is deadly to dogs but fairly harmless to us except in extreme quantities because we have enzymes which can handle it.

      Oxygen will kill many types of bacteria but we need it to live.

      Many anti-bacterials are simply far far far less toxic to us than to bacteria so it's not that surprising but it makes an awful rule of thumb.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by rvw (755107)

        there's lots of things which harm only some kinds of life.

        .....

        Lots of things are harmful to one organism and not another.

        Take Arsenic. We know it as a deadly poison. We all eat or drink a few micrograms of arsenic each day. If you take that away and make 100% free arsenic food, test that on rats, it turns out that they die more quickly. Is this the same for humans? Nobody knows that, but this is the same with most food research. So let's assume that it works the same for humans.

        It simply shows that like most things, too little is not good, too much neither. Drink four liters of water each day, and you will probably die.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Hmm, I drink just a touch over 4for liters of water every day...

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by nitehawk214 (222219)

          Drink four liters of water each day, and you will probably die.

          In fact, I can guarantee you will die.... eventually.

      • Evolution (Score:2, Interesting)

        by spectrokid (660550)
        Yes, but if triclosan is such a miracle product, why aren't our bodies producing it naturally? Maybe because evolution showed there were some downsides?
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by d3ac0n (715594)

          One could say the same thing about MANY things that our lives depend on. Oxygen, water, amino acids, etc. Just because our bodies don't make it doesn't make it automatically harmful.

          I, for one, would like to see the concentrations of Triclosan used in this study compared against the average exposure concentration "in the wild".

          From the Abstract:

          TCS acutely depresses hemodynamics and grip strength in mice at doses ~12.5 mg/kg i.p., and a concentration ~0.52 uM in water compromises swimming performance in l

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward

            the M in 0.52 uM is 1 mol/L so 0.52 umol/L :
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molar_concentration

            • Re:Evolution (Score:5, Informative)

              by queazocotal (915608) on Wednesday August 15, 2012 @09:36AM (#40996049)

              In context.
              http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22885664 [nih.gov]

              Urinary levels of bisphenol A, triclosan and 4-nonylphenol in a general Belgian population.

              'Geometric mean concentration was determined for bisphenol A at 2.55ug/l and for triclosan at 2.70ug/l'

              Now, Triclosans molar mass is around 300.
              0.52uMol/l is therefore 300 times this - 150ug/l.
              So, this is lots higher - 50 times - that in the general population.
              (Assuming urine and blood are of similar concentration, I can find no papers on this in 2 mins)

              However, 50* is not a stupid amount to exceed dosages by, especially given that it's likely that some humans will exceed the average by at least 5 times.

          • by nten (709128)

            I think 0.54 micromols/L is something like 3E-5 ppm. But I could be doing that wrong.

          • Re:Evolution (Score:4, Informative)

            by Hatta (162192) on Wednesday August 15, 2012 @10:15AM (#40996425) Journal

            Can a scientist type person please clarify this for the less-sciency of us?

            uM is micromolar, not micrometer. Micrometer is um. Molarity is a a unit of concentration where 1M is one mole of a substance per liter. A mole is the number of atoms of a substance it takes for the actual weight to match the molecular weight. e.g. The molecular weight of an oxygen molecule (O2) is twice the molecular weight of oxygen(2x16=32). So one mole of O2 weighs 32g.

            The actual numerical value of the mole is avogadro's number(6.02x10^23), but it's not really necessary to work with the actual number when you're doing concentration calculations like this.

      • by pushing-robot (1037830) on Wednesday August 15, 2012 @09:46AM (#40996155)

        Lots of things are harmful to one organism and not another: Theobromine is deadly to dogs but fairly harmless to us except in extreme quantities because we have enzymes which can handle it.

        Sorry to nitpick, but that's not really the best example. The LD50 for theobromine poisoning in dogs is 300mg/kg, around 1/3 that of humans. The TDLO (lowest amount required for symptoms) in dogs is 16mg/kg, about 2/3 that of humans. They really aren't that different from us.

        A 3kg chihuahua could eat a standard-size (43g) Hershey's milk chocolate bar and be completely asymptomatic. To reach its LD50, that chihuahua would have to eat around 15 chocolate bars. Of course, most dogs are much heavier than 3kg and have a similarly higher tolerance for theobromine: If a dog weighed as much as a typical human (let's say 75kg), it could eat 25 chocolate bars without any harmful effect.

        It's important to realize that dogs are opportunistic and will overeat if given the opportunity. Most breeds are also much smaller than humans. Stories of theobromine poisoning typically come from dogs who discovered a cache of chocolate candies and consumed an enormous amount compared to their body weight.

        But as long as you maintain some level of portion control, there's really nothing wrong with giving them a normal amount of chocolate in their diet. Just be careful with purer forms of chocolate—dark chocolate can have three times and raw unsweetened chocolate can have ten times as much theobromine as normal chocolate candy.

    • by captainpanic (1173915) on Wednesday August 15, 2012 @05:43AM (#40994777)

      At least it has been banned from being used in the food industry! (Yes, it was used in plastics that came into direct contact with our own food until 2010).

      http://www.beyondpesticides.org/dailynewsblog/?p=3574 [beyondpesticides.org]

      • by buchner.johannes (1139593) on Wednesday August 15, 2012 @05:55AM (#40994813) Homepage Journal

        Currently, you can make any products with new chemicals until they are banned. Should it be the burden of companies to prove that chemicals are safe before they can sell products?

        • by cbope (130292)

          Well, perhaps if a chemical is *new*... you should first understand the risks and dangers of an unknown chemical before you start putting it into consumer products?

          It *IS* the burden for companies to produce safe products that are not dangerous to the people using them when used as designed. Especially when it is something we put in or on our bodies that can negatively affect health.

        • It should be the burden of companies to ensure that their products are safe. The fact that concerns have been raised about this chemical and no action has been taken means that the burden is very much on companies now.

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          Isn't that how it works in the EU now? It's called the precautionary principle. You don't actually have to prove that they're safe of course, you only have to prove that they're not very harmful. A lot of substances were simply slapped on the list of safe items based on historical use, but a lot weren't, too.

    • by David Hume (200499) on Wednesday August 15, 2012 @07:31AM (#40995179) Homepage

      Nassim Nicholas Taleb, the author of The Black Swan [amazon.com] and Fooled by Randomness [amazon.com], has a book chapter coming out that addresses this danger. Prof. Teleb's draft chapter on Medicine, Convexity, and Opacity [fooledbyrandomness.com] from his upcoming book, Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder [amazon.com], can be found at:

      http://www.fooledbyrandomness.com/medicine.pdf [fooledbyrandomness.com]

      While the entire chapter is worth a read, at page 389 he observes:

      The “do you have evidence” fallacy, mistaking evidence of no harm for no evidence of harm, is similar to the one of misinterpreting NED (no evidence of disease) for evidence of no disease. This is the same error as mistaking absence of evidence for evidence of absence, the one that tends to affect smart and educated people, as if education made people more confirmatory in their responses and more liable to fall into simple logical errors.

      That may have been the case here. That is, for years no evidence of harm was mistaken for evidence of no harm.

      More generally, Prof. Taleb argues at page 376:

      Simple, quite simple decision rules and heuristics emerge from this chapter. Via negativa, of course (by removal of the unnatural): resort to medical techniques when the health payoff is very large (say, saving a life) and visibly exceeds its potential harm, such as incontrovertibly needed surgery or lifesaving medicine (penicillin). It is the same as with government intervention. This is squarely Thalesian, not Aristotelian (that is, decision making based on payoffs, not knowledge). For in these cases medicine has positive asymmetries —convexity effects— and the outcome will be less likely to produce fragility. Otherwise, in situations in which the benefits of a particular medicine, procedure, or nutritional or lifestyle modification appear small—say, those aiming for comfort—we have a large potential sucker problem (hence putting us on the wrong side of convexity effects).

  • by Taco Cowboy (5327) on Wednesday August 15, 2012 @05:25AM (#40994695) Journal

    Need to stress this, Triclosan is not the only drug found in waterways

    A lot of other substances that human being are using ended up in waterways and they are having all types of side effects on ecology around us

    I read an article about 10 years ago that nano-silver particles that we human are using - to kill bacteria, -somehow entered the waterways and end up killing a lot of microbial lifeforms, and the chain reaction (according to the articles that i read, can't find the links to them anymore, sorry) was worrying
     

    • by cffrost (885375)

      I read an article about 10 years ago that nano-silver particles that we human are using - to kill bacteria, -somehow entered the waterways and end up killing a lot of microbial lifeforms, and the chain reaction (according to the articles that i read, can't find the links to them anymore, sorry) was worrying

      The oligodynamic effect [wikimedia.org] is one of the mechanisms by which metals such as silver and copper kill some microorganisms. A benefit in the applications of doorknobs, silverware and copper plumbing; not so much in washing machines and dishwashers that exploit the effect, if what you say is true.

      Human consumption of solutions containing colloidal silver (as done in homeopathy) causes an irreversible cosmetic condition, argyria [wikimedia.org], in which the patient's skin turns a sliver-blue color.

    • by rhsanborn (773855)
      We find copper for the same reasons as silver. Scientists have also found increases estrogen and estrogen-like chemicals, and there was a story recently about a marked increase in the amount of caffeine in waterways, likely from human waste.
  • What was the dose? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sirwired (27582) on Wednesday August 15, 2012 @05:41AM (#40994769)

    I can certainly dose any given collection of animals with nearly any given chemical in a fashion that will kill them (either quickly or slowly, depending on the particular substance.) I can also dose them with an utterly harmless dose of the most toxic and horrible poisons known to mankind and the animal will live. This applicable to everything from water or oxygen to nasty organic or radiologic stuff.

    In the end, it all comes down to the dose. Was the dose these animals were given at all representative of the dosing received by a person using triclosan-based products? (Or animals absorbing triclosan in the environment?) Would have been nice if that press release had mentioned it. Since it didn't, I can guess that the dose is utterly ridiculous.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I've only had a quick scan through the article, but near the end it explicitly says:

      Our acute in vivo experiments were aimed at understanding mechanisms and potential risks, and therefore used an intraperitoneal route of exposure. However, the exposures tested here produced (triclosan) blood plasma concentrations consistent with levels found in some humans.

      So if I'm reading that right, the potential health risk depends on exactly who those "some humans" were, and if they were people who generally used tric

      • I looked, and maybe I'm blind, but I don't see any way to access the full paper (without a subscription or special request) and the linked article has no such sentence in it.

      • ...and if they were people who generally used triclosan products or if they were people injected with the stuff, which isn't really made clear.

        That is pretty much the gist of it. Did the subjects absorb the stuff cutaneously, or were they injected with it?

        Also, the headline is a bit hysterical. There are other widely-used substances that impair muscle function.

        Take Azithromycin (Zithromax, Z-Pack) for example - granted, it's not used quite as widely as triclosan, however quite a few people have ingested this antibiotic at one time or another. It tends to strongly inhibit the pre-synaptic release of acetylcholine at the nicotinic acetylcholine r

    • by CSMoran (1577071) on Wednesday August 15, 2012 @06:06AM (#40994849) Journal
      If you click to read the abstract (I know, bad etiquette), you'll find that it

      acutely depresses hemodynamics and grip strength in mice at doses 12.5 mg/kg

      • Huh. So an adult male would have to eat like a kilogram of the stuff?

        One toothpaste label reports 0.3% triclosan.

        That's 0.5g of triclosan per tube.
        So to hurt myself I'd have to *eat* almost 2000 tubes of toothpaste?

        • by TheLink (130905)
          No. 80 kg * 12.5mg/kg = 1 gram. Not 1 kg.

          So you would have to eat about 2 x 160g tubes of toothpaste.

          There might be other stuff in toothpaste that would kill you first.
        • Ugh. That's what I get for trying to do math on just waking up.

          mg, not g.
          Sooo, 2 tubes of toothpaste.
          That's still a hell of a lot of toothpaste :)

          Given I normally don't swallow any.
          Hm. But let's say there's a kid out there who gets into the toothpaste.

          If a small kid ate an entire tube, it'd be time to call poison control and induce vomiting from the sounds of it.

        • No. Assuming a person is 70kg and 0.5g per tube:
          (70*12.5e-3)/0.5 = 1.75

          But for a child it's more like half a tube of toothpaste...
        • by MLease (652529)

          Yeah. You'd probably barf first, though.

          • by MLease (652529)

            Oh, okay, fine, less than that. That's what I get for trying to be funny before reading on.

      • by sirwired (27582) on Wednesday August 15, 2012 @06:16AM (#40994881)

        12.5 mg/kg! Holy cow! This is ridiculously in excess of any conceivable dose of Triclosan you could get unless you are an utterly unprotected employee of a Triclosan-using factory.

        • This is ridiculously in excess of any conceivable dose of Triclosan you could get unless you are an utterly unprotected employee of a Triclosan-using factory.

          I bet doctors and nurses in swamped urban ERs could get close.

    • From the (free to view) abstract:

      TCS acutely depresses hemodynamics and grip strength in mice at doses 12.5 mg/kg i.p., and a concentration 0.52 M in water compromises swimming performance in larval fathead minnow.

      From the paper itself (pg. 5)

      Typical routes of exposure to TCS (oral, dermal) are sufcient in bringing the compound into systemic circulation (38, 39). Importantly, one study reported plasma Cmax of nearly 1 M within 1–3 h after administering a 4-mg oral dose in human subjects (38).

      So the doses used could quite possibly be meaningful, I'm no biologist though...

    • by pesho (843750)

      What was the dose?

      Excellent question, which should have had its answer in the summary. The dose is 12.5mg/kg injected interperitoneally. This dose will cause 20% reduction in muscle strength for a short period after the injection. In humans TCS is metabolized and inactivated rapidly (according to the article), although people with genetic effects may retain the drug for longer periods. It is unclear if the mice on which the experiments were done metabolize the drug with the same efficiency. If the drugs has to be absorbed th

  • Thought it was just age (and, yes, it still could be; I'm not diabetic, so it isn't neuropathy), but my wife insists on using stuff with that in it, and it's damned hard to avoid in normal grocery/department stores.

    I'm gonna try harder, now, though.

    Suggestions?

    • If this is a serious problem, consult a doctor.

      However, I've noticed in the past that I tend to drop things when I'm unenthusiastic, distracted, depressed or whatever. You need to put energy into focusing on what you're currently doing.

    • by mutube (981006) on Wednesday August 15, 2012 @06:23AM (#40994913) Homepage

      Suggestions?

      Stop making life decisions based on limited evidence.

      • Indeed. There is, however, strong evidence that gum disease is linked to heart disease (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081215184308.htm). None of this is as risky as stress however, so stop worrying and get on with your life, if you try to do every little thing you can to "improve your chances" then you'll probably have the opposite effect.
    • No idea why. Its mostly women that the utter nonsense known as toilet cleaner is marketed to. Why do I care if there are no bacteria in my toilet? I don't drink out of it , I piss and crap in it. And as soon anyone does that its full of bacteria again so why do I want to spend $$$ on some blue coloured gunk (thats probably a pollutant) to kill the bacteria??

      • Indeed, it's probably cleaner than your keyboard - your keyboard is not made of impervious porcelain and regularly flushed with copious amounts of water. It's made of attractively textured plastic (lots of little niches for bacteria to thrive) and regularly touched by human hands (lots of food for bacteria to eat, skin, grease, etc).

        The flush toilet is a horrendously inefficient use of water anyway. 40% of our domestic water use is flushing the toilet, which is a staggering waste of potable water in an era

    • by gblackwo (1087063)
      It is a sad day, but our low UID forebearers are going senile. I guess it was only a matter of time.
  • We are just begiining to realize how all these medications and chemicals that are poured down the sink and flushed into our planet's oceans and waterways affect our ecology. We are starting to see the effects on the wildlife. Frogs are disappearing at alarming rates because of these chemicals, and their habitats being destroyed.
  • I never understood the whole "antibacterial" hype. If you broadly and indiscriminately use an antibiotic (and if it is antibacterial, it is an antibiotic per definitionem), all you get are strains of immune bacteria. I am pretty sure that in the average american household, there are more bacteria immune to Triclosan per cubic feet than New York has inhabitants.

    • by SternisheFan (2529412) on Wednesday August 15, 2012 @06:41AM (#40994999)
      Your immune system needs exposure to bacteria in order to stay strong. If you are always using anti-bacterial lotions and wipes, your white bloods cells can 'forget' how to fight off infection. Some of the healthiest guys are sewer workers, they rarely take a sick day, because their immune systemsare so strong, since they are constantly fighting off bacteria.
    • I never understood the whole "antibacterial" hype.

      Chant mar-ke-ting over and over real slowly, and soon enlightenment will descend upon you.

      I was on an areoplane Monday, and the lady that plopped down beside me immediately whipped out some kind of sanitary wipe and started cleaning the food tray and the back of the seat in front of her.

  • ...would this be a possible link to the childhood obesity epidemic?
  • by sowalsky (142308) on Wednesday August 15, 2012 @06:07AM (#40994857) Homepage

    The experiments in mice were performed at 12.5mg/kg, which would be (for the average 65-kg human) a shocking 812.5mg of Triclosan. If your standard amount of handsoap and toothpaste is 2ml that's like brushing your teeth with a 1/3 solution of triclosan and swallowing it.

    Like most of the research in PNAS this was not subjected to the high level of peer review expected in most scholarly journals and this paper got through without regard to its relevance and real-world significance.

    At a high enough dose, caffeine causes cancer in lab animals. But not at the doses even Slashdotters consume.

    • by WillerZ (814133)

      You are probably right; however it does depend on how rapidly it is broken down and excreted by the body. If it is never got rid of, then this test is using a massive under-dose (from my point of view), since I have certainly swallowed 2 tubes-worth of Colgate Total over the course of my life.

      If it is eliminated in 12 hours it is a huge over-dose as you say. Somewhere in between these points is an elimination-rate which makes this number entirely appropriate.

      • by jafiwam (310805)

        There is some credence to the "never leaves" theory.

        Triclosan degrades into a couple of families of dioxin compounds.

        Wikipedia Article [wikipedia.org]

        There's nothing stopping this degradation process from happening in the body, or before it is consumed.

        The molecule starts out pretty close to dioxin in shape anyway. Symmetrical with two carbon rings...

    • by jovius (974690)

      One thing to consider is the cumulative dose of chemicals from the daily use of various products.

      I made a strategic decision a while back to use only all-natural/mostly chemical free products for the daily hygiene (I'm mostly vegan anyway), and I've not been disappointed. The deodorant crystal for example is excellent. It only contains the effective natural ingredient and works well (if you're not a high odor person). It's amazing how it just completely kills the body odor. I've also stopped using shampoo,

  • by MassiveForces (991813) on Wednesday August 15, 2012 @06:30AM (#40994935)
    For one thing, its reversible. Wears off after 60 mins in mice at the dose they were using. Hey that might even mean less free radicals which cause aging. Second, humans aren't going to notice the effects at the doses they receive, otherwise we would have seen it in factory workers that produce triclosan already. So nobody should be alarmed at least, unless maybe it impairs salmon swimming upstream to reproduce.
  • It has been known for decades that household use of antibacterial soaps creates immune bacteria that are causing major problems for hospitals. There is no reason for it [youtube.com], but it takes a new study that shows you are not just fucking shit up for everyone, you are fucking your own shit up too. Now people will stop, selfishness rules.
  • I doubt many people will really miss the use of Triclosan in things like garbage bags and carpet, but toothpaste is a different story. Dental hygiene seems to me to be the one application where you're better off using wide-spectrum antibiotics all the time. Everyone is born with one set of teeth (yes you could argue two), and you'd like all those teeth to last your lifetime.

    • by Viol8 (599362)

      "Dental hygiene seems to me to be the one application where you're better off using wide-spectrum antibiotics all the time"

      Nonsense. Tooth decay is only caused by a small subset of bacteria and most of them are removed by physical brushing. The only use for the toothpaste is mainly for the flouride. There are thousands of different types of bacteria in the human mouth and no one knows if any of them are useful to our health as the ones in our guts and on our skin are. Just killing the lot of them every day

      • by metacell (523607)

        I agree. The two most important things for keeping your teeth healty, is regular, physical cleaning (brushing and dental sticks) and fluoride.

        A lot of bacteria live in symbiosis with the human body, for example, in the digestive system.

      • by snsh (968808)

        Then you might be pleasantly surprised by Colgate Total.

        Try this: brush your teeth with ordinary toothpaste (fluoride + abrasive + surfactant), eat a jelly donut, wait two hours, and then check the plaque on your teeth. Then repeat the process with Colgate Total toothpaste (+= triclosan + glue). Huge difference.

        Granted there are unknown unknowns about the potential benefits of the flora in your mouth, but the known knowns about the damage done by the flora to your teeth is pretty well known. Until they fi

        • by Viol8 (599362)

          Do you for Colgates PR dept or something? I've managed for 43 years without using it and I still have all my teeth. Besides that, people who have a low sugar diet have very little decay because there's little for the bacteria to eat. Perhaps advocating a sane diet instead of the over sweetened gunk we eat in the west would be a better approach.

      • by jafiwam (310805)

        "Dental hygiene seems to me to be the one application where you're better off using wide-spectrum antibiotics all the time"

        Nonsense. Tooth decay is only caused by a small subset of bacteria and most of them are removed by physical brushing. The only use for the toothpaste is mainly for the flouride. There are thousands of different types of bacteria in the human mouth and no one knows if any of them are useful to our health as the ones in our guts and on our skin are. Just killing the lot of them every day is probably foolish.

        There is a very very strong statistical link between heart valve infections (which will kill you DRT if undetected) and dental hygine. Bacterial loads on gums or tooth infections can directly lead to not only infections in the head, but infections in the blood stream and cardiovascular system.

        A nigh-germ free environment in the dental area is much better for overall health than believing in "friendly" bacteria there. At least, with modern research and thinking. There's probably lots of bacteria that have

    • by ballpoint (192660)

      Read the post above yours. Broad spectrum antibiotics indiscriminately kill innocent bacteria that are competing with the baddies for nutrients in your oral cavity. Keep things clean without creating a wasteland.

  • I've been trying to convince my wife to stop buying hand wash containing bactericidals and instead just try to keep everything clean with common products.

    That said, I would not be amazed if some patent related to triclosan is due to expire. An excellent time for alarm and to push a new, supposedly less harmful, more expensive freshly patented replacement.

  • So are there any "safe" chemicals that we can use?

    • This reminds me of a one-panel cartoon I saw years & years ago. There are two glum-looking scientists in lab coats surrounded by Bunsen burners and all kinds of test equipment. One is holding a beaker full of liquid and says to the other, "The final results are in. EVERYTHING causes cancer!"
  • And we worry about superbugs being created while we have this needless anti-bacterial in everything INCLUDING ourselves. (Did you catch the "it's in urine samples of over 75% of people over 5" bit?)

    It is well known and has been for some time that to keep a healthy digestive system, we need certain types of bacteria. Has triclosan been cleared against not killing those important bacteria?

    And what of the superbugs?!

    I'm all for necessary use of antibiotics and antibacterials, but not for ongoing prophylactic

  • by daleallan (1543693) on Wednesday August 15, 2012 @09:17AM (#40995865)
    The industry responded today with this, saying the research distorts the real world use of triclosan based on faulty comparisons to overdosed test subjects : http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/research-on-key-antibacterial-ingredient-distorts-real-world-use-166179966.html [prnewswire.com]
  • by wytcld (179112) on Wednesday August 15, 2012 @11:17AM (#40997169) Homepage

    I stopped using Colgate Total after becoming aware of this issue a year ago, after a decade's use. Switched to Tom's of Maine Whole Care. There was an immediate, radical difference. While using Colgate Total - two brushings a day - I'd wake up with foul breath. That got much better with Tom's within the first few days, and has continued to improve.

    The thing is, just as killing off much of the bacteria in your gut is a really bad idea, so is killing off much of the bacteria in your mouth. It's an ecosystem. Continuously assaulting it is not the way to bring it into health. Just went to the dentist, and my teeth were cleaner, my gums in better shape, than when I'd been using the Colgate. Not that they were in bad shape before. Just that this time there was less work for the hygenist, and less to prompt a closer check by the dentist.

  • by Fned (43219) on Wednesday August 15, 2012 @01:23PM (#40998865) Journal

    It's an antibacterial agent that weakens your immune system when you're exposed to it.

    They should have banned the stupid shit as soon as that was discovered.

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