Personal care products causing antibiotic resistance

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Antibiotic Resistance News(NaturalHealth365) Triclosan, an antimicrobial pesticide used regularly in toothpaste, hand soap, face wash, body lotion, and cosmetics is being linked to antibiotic resistance strains of bacteria. Why would any (sane) government health agency allow such a toxic substance to be legally sold to the general public?

Where is triclosan – a toxic pesticide – being sold?

Triclosan is a chlorinated aromatic compound – first registered as a pesticide – that received 20 antimicrobial registrations, which the United States Environmental Protctions Agency (EPA) regulates under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FiFRA).

The consumer uses of triclosan are in over-the-counter products, which are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA). The FDA uses are not regulated under the pesticide law. (Gee, I wonder why?)

As a preservative material, triclosan is used in many products such as adhesives, fabrics, vinyl, plastics, toys, polyethylene, polyurethane, polypropylene, rubber, carpeting, footwear, clothing, floor wax and many personal care products.

Let the buyer beware…

Studies have found that use of triclosan encouraged the growth of bacteria that are resistant to amoxicillin, by helping superbugs thrive. In fact, laboratory studies have shown that antibiotic-resistant strains of E. coli and other bacteria can grow in cultures with high levels of triclosan.

Emma Rosi-Marshall, an aquatic ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystems explains: “The bacterial resistance caused by triclosan has real environmental consequences. Not only does it disrupt aquatic life by changing native bacteria community, but it’s linked to the rise of resistant bacteria that could diminish the usefulness of important antibiotics.”

Artificial water stream experiments conducted at Loyola University confirmed field findings that triclosan exposure triggers an increase in triclosan-resistant bacteria.

In addition to the creation of these resistant bacteria, researchers also found a decrease in the diversity of other bacteria and a shift in the composition of bacterial communities.

The destructive cascade continues…

By finding its way into the waterways and entering sea vegetation – the fish that use algae as a food source are then the food sources of other predators including humans.

The prevalence of triclosan, in the water, is a cause for concern since triclosan is converted into dioxin – a highly toxic compound when exposed to sunlight while in the waterways. When this substance is combined with the chlorine in tap water it forms chloroform a human carcinogen.

Don’t wait for the government to tell you – clean up your home (now)

Triclosan is a chemical that’s been in U.S. households for more than 40 years, from the body wash in your bathroom shower, toothpaste, cosmetics to the bedding in your baby’s basinet.

Now the federal health regulators are trying to decide if triclosan, a ‘germ-killing’ ingredient, found in an estimated 75% of all antibacterial liquid soaps and body washes is effective or harmful.

The Centers for Disease Control estimates that 75% of the U.S. population has triclosan in their bodies. It has been found in urine, blood, breast milk and umbilical cord blood samples.

It’s in our bodies through personal use and accumulates in the environment, contaminating surface and ground water. It survives the wastewater treatment process and stays in the water that is dumped on agricultural crops.

Skin deep cosmetic safety database assigns triclosan a hazard rating of 7 with 10 being the highest rating. Triclosan is linked to cancer and is a known endocrine disruptor, with the ability to irritate organs and accumulate in human tissue.

Research, from the University of California and the University of Colorado, linked triclosan to significantly impaired muscle function, finding that it had a “dramatic” effect on the heart, according to the researchers. The most startling finding was that mice exposed to the chemical had a 25 percent reduction in heart function – within 20 minutes of triclosan exposure. The scientist who conducted the research claimed the dosages used were the same as those found in personal care items.

U.S. scientists agree that an FDA review is long overdue. The Endocrine Society, a group of doctors and scientists who specialize in the hormone system, flagged triclosan four years ago as an ingredient that alters levels of thyroid hormones and reproductive hormones like testosterone and estrogen.

Triclosan is restricted for use in Canada and Japan, and the European Union labels it “irritating to eyes and skin; dangerous for the environment; and very toxic to aquatic organisms.

What can we do? Consumers must boycott products with chemical ingredients and buy all natural products or ingredients to make their own household and personal care items. Protect your health – make this a top priority.

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About the author: Blanche Levine has been a student of natural healing modalities for the last 25 years. She has the privilege of working with some of the greatest minds in natural healing including Naturopaths, scientist and energy healers. Having seen people miraculously heal from all kinds of dis-ease through non-invasive methods, her passion now is to help people become aware of what it takes to be healthy.


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