Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Being Too Clean Could Be Hazardous To Your Health And The Environment

Date:
April 15, 2005
Source:
Virginia Tech
Summary:
Researchers at Virginia Tech have discovered that the use of antimicrobial soaps and other products may unnecessarily be directly exposing consumers to significant quantities of chloroform.

Triclosan is a synthetic antimicrobial agent, which is classified as a Class III drug by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). As the result of its broad-spectrum bacteria-fighting ability, it has found increasingly popular use in personal care products, cosmetics, antimicrobial creams, acne treatments, lotions, hand soaps, and dish soaps. It is also used as an additive to plastics, polymers, textile, and implantable medical devices. Triclosan is most often used to kill bacteria on the skin and other surfaces and is sometimes used to preserve a product, including food.

The American Medical Association (AMA) has been urging the FDA to closely monitor and possibly regulate the home use of antimicrobials such as triclosan. The increasing popularity of antimicrobial products has preceded the study of the possible harmful affects of the use of such products.

Past research has shown that chloroform is produced when free chlorine reacts with organic material. "This is the first work that we know of that suggests that consumer products, such as antimicrobial soap, can produce significant quantities of chloroform," said Vikesland. The implications of these reactions to consumers are not known. "There are numerous potential exposure pathways that can be envisioned, such as inhalation and skin exposure, when using antimicrobial soaps to wash dishes or when taking a shower. There is also risk of exposure when using triclosan laden moisturizers as they may also react with chlorine in the water," said Vikesland.

Vikesland and his associates have conducted research closely mimicking conditions found when washing dishes in the home. The results show that it is possible that the chloroform produced when the antimicrobial soap containing triclosan mixes with chlorinated water could be absorbed through your skin or inhaled. Vikesland's research is funded by the American Water Works Association Research Foundation (AWWARF) and by a National Science Foundation (NSF) graduate research fellowship to Krista Rule, the lead student on the project.

Most of the consumer products that contain triclosan eventually end up being discharged down residential drains. It has previously been shown by researchers from the University of Minnesota that the photochemical reactions of triclosan could be producing dioxins in the presence of sunlight. Dioxins do not degrade over time and they can accumulate in body tissues to cause a greater effect. Even low levels of dioxin are a problem because of their tendency to accumulate along the food chain.

###

Vikesland is an NSF CAREER Awardee for 2004-2009. He was an Invited Participant at the National Academy of Engineering Frontiers of Engineering Symposium in 2003. Vikesland was also named an American Society of Civil Engineering Excellence in Civil Engineering Education (ExCEEd) Fellow in 2002. He received his bachelor's degree in chemistry from Grinnell College in 1993. He received his master's and Ph.D. from the University of Iowa in civil and environmental engineering in 1995 and 1998, respectively. His research areas of interest include environmental nanotechnology, subsurface contaminant remediation, and drinking water treatment. For more information, go to: http://www.cee.vt.edu/people/pvikes.html


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Virginia Tech. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Virginia Tech. "Being Too Clean Could Be Hazardous To Your Health And The Environment." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 April 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/04/050415113734.htm>.
Virginia Tech. (2005, April 15). Being Too Clean Could Be Hazardous To Your Health And The Environment. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/04/050415113734.htm
Virginia Tech. "Being Too Clean Could Be Hazardous To Your Health And The Environment." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/04/050415113734.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Lithium Battery 'Holy Grail' Could Provide 4 Times The Power

Lithium Battery 'Holy Grail' Could Provide 4 Times The Power

Newsy (July 28, 2014) Stanford University published its findings for a "pure" lithium ion battery that could have our everyday devices and electric cars running longer. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming

The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming

AP (July 28, 2014) AP Investigation: As the Obama administration weans the country off dirty fuels, energy companies are ramping-up overseas coal exports at a heavy price. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shipping Crates Get New 'lease' On Life

Shipping Crates Get New 'lease' On Life

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 25, 2014) Shipping containers have been piling up as America imports more than it exports. Some university students in Washington D.C. are set to get a first-hand lesson in recycling. Their housing is being built using refashioned shipping containers. Lily Jamali reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Europe's Highest Train Turns 80 in French Pyrenees

Europe's Highest Train Turns 80 in French Pyrenees

AFP (July 25, 2014) Europe's highest train, the little train of Artouste in the French Pyrenees, celebrates its 80th birthday. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins