Antibiotic Hand Sanitizers; how safe are they?
Meet the antibiotic chemical Triclosan, which is in a lot more products than just hand sanitizers!
The following article is from the New York Times, August 19, 2011, by Andrew Martin.
The Food and Drug Administration is reviewing the safety of the chemical, which was created more than 40 years ago as a surgical scrub for hospitals. Triclosan is now in a range of consumer products, including soaps, kitchen cutting boards and even a best-selling toothpaste, Colgate Total. It is so prevalent that a survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found the chemical present in the urine of 75 percent of Americans over the age of 5.
Several studies have shown that triclosan may alter hormone regulation in laboratory animals or cause antibiotic resistance, and some consumer groups and members of Congress want it banned in antiseptic products like hand soap. The F.D.A. has already said that soap with triclosan is no more effective than washing with ordinary soap and water, a finding that manufacturers dispute.
The F.D.A. was to announce the results of its review several months ago, but now says the timing is uncertain and unlikely until next year. The Environmental Protection Agency is also looking into the safety of triclosan.
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