Triclosan Research Paper

1124 Words 5 Pages
More is Not Better The New York Times reported on September 2, 2016 that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has declared a ban on the sale of soaps containing 19 chemicals designed to make the soaps antibacterial (Travernise, 2016, para. 1). This ban will affect approximately 40 percent of liquid and bar soaps currently on the market (Tavernise, 2016, para. 2). In 2013, the FDA had allowed the industry two years to prove the safety and efficacy of the added ingredients before making a decision as to the future of the chemicals (Travernise, 2016, para. 7). The manufacturers, however, have failed to produce enough evidence to prove to the FDA that the chemicals make a significant contribution to soaps efficiency or squash mounting safety …show more content…
Bacterial cells have a cell membrane made up of a bilayer of lipids that is embedded with proteins that allow wastes to exit the cell and nutrients to enter. Lipids are long chains of hydrocarbons that are essential to cell membrane growth and function. Certain enzymes speed up the process of hydrocarbon elongation. Triclosan stops the building of lipid chains by binding to the active site of the enzyme and stopping the process of elongation of the lipid chain and thus stopping the growth of the cell membrane and killing the bacteria (Angkadjaja, 2007, para. 5). Unfortunately, the antibacterial agent kills more than the disease-causing bacteria to which it is directed. Triclosan and the others antibacterial chemicals kill any susceptible bacteria, including some healthy bacteria, making way for resistant bacteria to multiply and dominate due to a lack of completion, resulting in drug-resistant “superbug” (Priesnitz, 2016, para. …show more content…
First, antibacterial products increase the risk of allergies due to the reduced exposure to bacteria necessary for a healthy immunity. Secondly, triclosan has been shown to be an endocrine disruptor. The chemical is able to bind to the receptor sites meant for thyroid and other hormones in much the same way that it blocks the enzyme responsible for lipid elongation. This reduction in thyroid hormone can cause problems with infertility, increase obesity, as well as artificially advance puberty, and increase the risk of certain cancers (Stromberg, 2014, para. 12). Third, researchers at the University of California, Davis have shown triclosan to interfere with muscle contractions, which can lead to heart disease and, eventually heart failure, due to reduced contractions of skeletal, and cardiac muscles (Garber, 2012, para. 2). Finally, researchers have discovered that triclosan (C12H7Cl3O2) can react with free chlorine (HOCl) within the tap water supply, a form of chloroform gas (CHCl3) can be formed (US-Five, 2016, para. 6). (See graph below). When inhaled in large enough quantities, chloroform gas causes depression, liver damage and in some cases, cancer (US-Five, 2016, para. 7). These health concerns are especially troubling because the levels of triclosan in human urine, plasma, and breast milk has been steadily rising (Garber, 2012, para. 3). A 2008 survey found triclosan in the urine of 75% of the

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