Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Chemical regulations: Triclosan in the news

Canada and U.S. have different approaches

The chemical ends up in the environment where it can
enter the food chain and lead to even higher exposure.
Triclosan is a chemical with antibacterial qualities, which is why it can be found in thousands of household products, including toothpaste, soap, kids’ toys, face creams, computer keyboards, yoga mats and more.

While the United States Food and Drug Administration is still conducting a lengthy review of the chemical, Canada is moving to regulate it more aggressively.

The Canadian government just declared triclosan an environmental toxin and plans to curtail its use in Canada with more stringent regulations.

In the U.S. a similar movement exists to have the chemical regulated more, or even banned, but officials are still investigating the chemical’s safety and effectiveness after 40 years on the market.

Opponents of the chemical argue that the antibacterial agent ends up being washed down the drain. In the environment it turns into a pollutant known as 240CP.

People may be exposed to the chemical in the household products as well as when they consume plants and animals that have taken up the pollutant.

What are possible health effects of triclosan?

While research remains controversial or inconclusive, many people worry about the chemical’s possible impact on hormone levels, antibiotic resistance and more.

There are also controversial concerns about the chemical reacting with other chemicals.

When triclosan (often found in toothpaste) is mixed with chlorine (often found in tap water), it may form chloroform, a sweet-smelling chemical that can be used to render someone unconscious.

Officials maintain that there is not enough scientific evidence to recommend changing regulations regarding triclosan at this time.

There are currently no limits with regards to the concentration of triclosan in consumer products such as antibacterial soap.

The FDA review of triclosan is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

Source: Public Radio International

A question of corporate responsibility?

Whenever companies are using or adding chemicals to products, they need to be mindful of the possible health effects to workers and customers.

More and more companies are moving away from controversial or possibly toxic chemicals, but other toxins may still be under review.
Activated carbon is the safest and most effective
filter media to remove chemicals and gases.

To prevent any health concerns in the facilities, manufacturers of common household products can use industrial-strength air cleaners with activated carbon and HEPA to help reduce exposure.

Electrocorp offers some of the most effective air cleaners for commercial and industrial purposes, with the largest adsorbent surface areas (where chemicals, gases and odors can be removed) and versatile airflow configuration and design.

Electrocorp also offers portable air cleaners for smaller businesses and household use.

Contact Electrocorp for more information and a consultation.

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