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Home Science Health FDA has questions about chemical triclosan

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is reviewing the chemical triclosan, which is commonly found in toothpaste, antibacterial soap, and other consumer goods. The FDA is concerned that triclosan can alter hormone levels.

 

 


The organic compound triclosan is a polychlorophenoxy phenol, with an International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) name of 5-chloro-2-(2,4-dichlorophenoxy)phenol.

The chlorinated aromatic compound is present in such products as deodorants, shaving creams and gels, dishwashing liquids, toothpastes, mouthwashes, and cleaning supplies. It is also found in toys, workout clothing, bedding, trash bags, and other consumer products.

Triclosan is useful in controlling and reducing bacterial contamination, which is why it is often found in hand sanitizers.

Recent studies involving triclosan, however, has shown that triclosan can alter hormone levels in animals. In other studies, scientists found that triclosan increased bacterial resistance to antibiotics.

According to the April 8, 2010 Washington Post article FDA says studies on triclosan, used in sanitizers and soaps, raise concerns, 'The FDA and the Environmental Protection Agency say they are taking a fresh look at triclosan, which is so ubiquitous that is found in the urine of 75 percent of the population, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.'

Although the FDA does not think triclosan is dangerous to the health of users, it is reviewing the chemical as to whether it is even needed in products it is presently used within.

The FDA says that products without triclosan seem to be as effective as products with triclosan.

 

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Specifically, according to the April 9, 2010 Associated Press article FDA reviews antiseptic chemical in soap, 'The FDA agreed to look into the safety of triclosan at the request of Congressman Edward Markey, D-Mass. On Thursday Markey called on the FDA and the Environmental Protection Agency to ban the substance from use in personal hygiene products, children's toys or food.'

U.S. Representative Edward 'Ed' J. Markey, from the seventh district of Massachusetts, stated within the AP article, "Despite the fact that this chemical is found in everything from soaps to socks, there are many troubling questions about triclosan's effectiveness and potentially harmful effects, especially for children.'

Doug Throckmorton, deputy director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, stated within the Washington Post article: 'For triclosan, the science is changing. Based on what we know, we don't have evidence to suggest this chemical is a threat to human health. However, we have to understand better the health effects and we have to work with other agencies to collect that information and then decide whether or not we need to change how it's regulated."

 


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William Atkins

William Atkins completed educational degrees in science (bachelor’s in physics and mathematics) from Illinois State University (Normal, United States) and business (master’s in entrepreneurship and bachelor’s in industrial relations) from Western Illinois University

 

 

 

 

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