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Antimicrobials — What Are They Killing Besides Germs?

Posted on May 26, 2010

Triclosan is an antibacterial and antifungal that is found in almost everything. Kids toys, sheets, toothpaste, kitchenware, deodorant, cosmetics, dishwashing liquid, anywhere that germs lie, and that is just about anywhere. It’s estimated up to 80% of hand soaps contain a microbial.

But for years, environmental watchdog groups have been warning that triclosan goes down the drain and has the potential to kill good bacteria and increase antibiotic resistance and mess with hormones.

Now a new study finds triclosan is turning up in lakes and streams, according to a Discovery News article. It’s been found in human bodies and a decade ago, the U.S. Geological Survey found it in 58% of 139 streams sampled.

The journal, Environmental Science and Technology in a published report, blames triclosan for four types of dioxin found in a Minnesota lake. Dioxins are one of the most potent toxins around linked to cancers. Like the 80,000 chemicals that have been introduced into our environment, the FDA and EPA assumes it is not harmful to humans. Innocent until proven guilty. But by then, it’s released and it’s too late.

The European Union has banned triclosan and environmental watchdog groups along with Rep. Edward Markey of Massachusetts are urging the EPA and FDA to ban it from consumer products. Take a look at the label before you buy. Just say no to the triclosan and be safe rather than sorry.