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Pregnant women, fetuses exposed to antibacterial compounds face potential health risks

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posted on Aug, 11 2014 @ 12:16 PM
Pregnant women, fetuses exposed to antibacterial compounds face potential health risks

As the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mulls over whether to rein in the use of common antibacterial compounds that are causing growing concern among environmental health experts, scientists are reporting today that many pregnant women and their fetuses are being exposed to these substances. They will present their work at the 248th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world's largest scientific society.

"We looked at the exposure of pregnant women and their fetuses to triclosan and triclocarban, two of the most commonly used germ-killers in soaps and other everyday products," says Benny Pycke, Ph.D. "We found triclosan in all of the urine samples from the pregnant women that we screened. We also detected it in about half of the umbilical cord blood samples we took, which means it transfers to fetuses. Triclocarban was also in many of the samples."

The problem with this, explains Pycke, a research scientist at Arizona State University (ASU), is that there is a growing body of evidence showing that the compounds can lead to developmental and reproductive problems in animals and potentially in humans. Also, some research suggests that the additives could contribute to antibiotic resistance, a growing public health problem.

Although the human body is efficient at flushing out triclosan and triclocarban, a person's exposure to them can potentially be constant.

"If you cut off the source of exposure, eventually triclosan and triclocarban would quickly be diluted out, but the truth is that we have universal use of these chemicals, and therefore also universal exposure," says Rolf Halden, Ph.D., the lead investigator of the study at ASU.

The compounds are used in more than 2,000 everyday products marketed as antimicrobial, including toothpastes, soaps, detergents, carpets, paints, school supplies and toys, the researchers say.

I love how if something is approved by the FDA that doesn't mean it is safe or that it is effective.

Here is another example of humans not knowing what the chemicals we use are doing to our bodies but still using them anyways. I'm pretty sure I'm going to be more careful about the products I buy so they don't have triclosan & triclocarban in them. It's going to be hard seeing how they are in more than 2,000 everyday products.

The study yielded a link between women with higher levels of another ubiquitous antimicrobial, butyl paraben, which is commonly used in cosmetics, and shorter newborn lengths. I'm glad I don't wear makeup as much as I used to but now I'm going to stop. There are crazy chemicals in makeup & again we don't know the harm that can be done to us. Our pores soak up so much stuff, especially the chemicals in makeup.

Minnesota became the first state to pass a ban on the antimicrobial's use in certain products, but it won't take effect in January 2017. Why not all products? Why is it ok to be in some but not others?

I would like it if we could have more in depth labels that say what chemicals are in these products, like triclosan & triclocarban.

posted on Aug, 11 2014 @ 12:42 PM
Well, think of this. It effects the proper replication of cells in the fetus from what I understand. Our cells are always replicating themselves, building new to replace the old. It does not end when we leave the womb. They say it effects the fetus, but avoid saying anything about the rest of us. Looks like they are avoiding testing this on us so they don't get in a pissing match with the manufacturers and get into legal issues. Everyone wants to protect the unborn fetus, the consensus of the people on this issue is very safe. Chemical companies often lose when challenging fetus issues.

posted on Aug, 11 2014 @ 12:50 PM
a reply to: knoledgeispower

Thanks for posting this - very interesting! That they found triclosan in the urine of all the pregnant women just shows how ubiquitous that stuff is.

I'm 33 weeks pregnant, so of course this perked up my ears. My OB/GYN even gave me a bottle of antibacterial gel at my first appointment. I have never used it as it seems completely unnecessary. To be fair to my doctor, I suspect they got a huge haul of free samples from somewhere and were giving them out to patients - they never recommended I use it throughout pregnancy. (The practice of doctors giving free samples out to patients is a another topic of discussion all together.)

I have always thought we go way too far with antibacterial stuff. We are meant to interact with bacteria on a regular basis. I think this interaction is especially crucial in childhood. I let my kids dig for worms, explore and get messy. This horrifies a small but vocal minority of parents. To be clear, I do keep a clean house... but I'm not one to spray Lysol on every surface daily and make my kids use antibacterial wipes throughout the day. I know some of it might be luck of the genetic draw, but despite the fact that I let my kids get messy, they are extremely healthy. No allergies. Last year, neither got more than a runny nose (and that was just once) all year.

Still, there are products that we purchase that could very well be coated in triclosan or antimicrobial that we don't even realize...

Very interesting about Minnesota's move to ban some antimicrobials - seems like a step in the right direction. I totally agree with you that more labeling and disclosure about product contents is needed.

I'm glad I don't wear make-up too! (Just mascara sometimes since I have blonde lashes that are invisible without mascara!) I think women look better without make-up 9 times out of 10 anyway. I try to be minimalist in most things - less products (cleaning, personal care, beauty) is almost always better! Especially since, as you point out, we don't really know what is in everything or what the long term exposure might lead to...

Thanks again for the post. I'll be keeping my eyes open for more news on this.

posted on Aug, 11 2014 @ 01:08 PM
abortions in clinics?...hell no!!!!....corporate profits for products that cause abortions?.....that's fine, move along, nothing to see here.

posted on Aug, 11 2014 @ 03:18 PM
We use antibiotics & antibacterial stuff so much that a lot of stuff is becoming resistant to our treatments.

My parents let us kids play outside in the dirt, we were allowed to jump in puddles when it rained, we were allowed to get messy & my parents didn't freak out & use tons of antibacterial stuff on us. Mind you, 29yrs ago, those products weren't as wide spread as they are now. My sister & I were healthy when we lived in Alberta, hardly ever got sick, but when we moved to a farming valley in B.C, after a couple years my youngest sister got an incurable auto-immune disease. Not even two years later my Mom was also diagnosed with an incurable auto-immune disease. I've got my health issues too but I'm not diagnosed yet.

I know some illnesses can be genetic but I strongly believe our environment played a huge roll in our health issues. Farming chemicals would get into the creek, which pours out into the local lakes that everyone swims in. There is a scary amount of sick kids in this valley, so much so they are planning on opening another Children's Hospital in B.C.

Hopefully we continue to get updates on this & they are honest updates too.

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