Emma Court, Marketwatch: June 21, 2017
Back in fall of 2016, the Food and Drug Administration put out an important new rule telling companies they had to remove certain chemicals from their antibacterial soaps, or else not market them at all.
Two of the most common anti-bacterial chemicals, triclosan and triclocarban, are usually found in both liquid soaps and bar soaps, the FDA noted then.
But what the regulator didn’t say is just how many other places those chemicals can be found, everywhere from clothing to body products, household items, playgrounds, exercise equipment and more.
More than 200 scientists and medical professionals from around the world have signed on to a statement warning about the chemicals could have harmful effects on humans and the environment. […]
But there’s evidence that these antibacterial chemicals have no major health benefits for consumers, the Tuesday statement said, referring to epidemiological studies and a 2003 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory committee report.
But they’ve been linked to increasing allergen sensitivity and disruptions to hormones, the endocrine system and possibly the reproductive system, the statement said, though some of the evidence is from animal studies and may not transfer over to humans.
Because of their possible role in hormone disruption, these chemicals may be especially harmful for pregnant women and children.
Animal studies have also suggested triclosans could have an effect on the microbiome, which includes gut bacteria, according to the statement. […]
The September FDA decision “means a lot” and speaks to the potential harms of these chemicals, said Diana Zuckerman, president of the nonprofit National Center for Health Research.
The regulator wouldn’t have changed its mind if the data were ambiguous, she said.
“What’s really clear is that for a lot of uses, the risks outweigh the benefits,” she said. “And the risks outweigh the benefits to the individual, but also the environment.”
Read the original article here.