Re: Mold Prevention - MicroShield Environmental Services
Posted by TJB on 9/23/05
MicroShield ES (with microban qgc)
MICROBAN’s Active Ingredient is “Triclosan”
There is mounting evidence that “Triclosan” is potentially dangerous to human health and the
Builders would be crazy to apply triclosan to the frames of residential homes by using Microshield
The following excerpts are from a recent report on triclosan.
A Swedish study found high levels triclosan in three out of five human milk samples, indicating
that triclosan does in fact get absorbed into the body, often in high quantities.24 Additionally,
triclosan is lipophilic, so it can bioaccumulate in fatty tissues. Concerns over triclosan
interfering with the body’s thyroid hormone metabolism led to a study that found that triclosan
had a marked hypothermic effect, lowering the body temperature, and overall causing a “nonspecific
depressant effect on the central nervous system” of mice.25 Although the chemical structure of
triclosan closely resembles certain estrogens, a study on a Japanese species o fish did not
demonstrate estrogenic e. ects.26 However, it did find that triclosan is weakly androgenic,
causing changes in fin length and sex ratios.27
Recently, there have been a number of concerns about triclosan and its link to dioxin. Dioxin can
be highly carcinogenic and can cause health problems as severe as weakening of the immune system,
decreased fertility, altered sex hormones, miscarriage, birth defects, and cancer.32 Triclosan is
listed as “could be” and “suspected to be” contaminated with dioxins in EPA’s draft. Dioxin
Reassessment.33 Because of the chemical structure as a polychloro phenoxy phenol, it is possible
that dioxin can be found in triclosan as synthesis impurities.34 In addition to being formed
during the manufacturing process, dioxin may also be formed upon incineration of triclosan.35
Researchers who added triclosan to river water and shined ultraviolet light on the water found
that between one and twelve percent of the triclosan was converted to dioxin in the water, leading
to fears that sunlight could transform triclosan to dioxin naturally.36 An even more serious
health threat may stem from treatment of triclosan-tainted water at water treatment plants—
sunlight could convert chlorinated triclosan into highly toxic forms of dioxin.37 Exposure to
sunlight in the solid state of triclosan, such as on commercial textile products, also causes
formation of dioxin, albeit in smaller amounts than aqueous solutions.38
A number of recent studies have raised serious concerns that triclosan and other similar products
may promote the emergence of bacteria resistant to antibiotics.39 One concern is that bacteria
will become resistant to antibacterial products like triclosan, rendering the products useless to
those who actually need them, such as people with compromised immune systems. Scientists also
worry that because triclosan’s mode of action and target site in the bacteria is similar to
antibiotics, bacteria that become resistant to triclosan will also become resistant to
antibiotics. There are also at least two other proven resistance mechanisms that are similar for
both triclosan and antibiotics.40 Triclosan does not actually cause a mutation in the bacteria,
but by killing the normal bacteria, it creates an environment where mutated bacteria that are
resistant to triclosan are more likely to survive and reproduce.41 With so many products on the
market containing triclosan, the speed with which resistance develops is likely to be increased.42
Laboratory studies with triclosan have found a number of different strains of mutated bacteria
that are resistant to triclosan.43 These studies found that these mutant strains
of bacteria also showed resistance to certain antibiotics, including a drug widely used for
treatment of tuberculosis, an experimental antibiotic currently under development, and a number of
other “clinically relevant” antibiotics.44 While most resistant bacteria grow more slowly than
sensitive bacteria, E. coli strains that are resistant to triclosan actually have increased growth
rates. Constant exposure to triclosan will cause these resistant strains to tolerate it better,
become increasingly hardy, and ever more resistant.45 Because antibiotic resistance has become an
increasingly serious problem worldwide, the link to antibacterials may prove to be very
important.46 In a recent review of the subject, one researcher concluded, “It is therefore quite
possible that widespread use of triclosan may indeed compound antibiotic resistance.”47
Another potential problem with overuse of triclosan is the link to allergies. The “hygiene
hypothesis,” theorizes that there is a correlation between too much hygiene and increased
allergies and asthma.28 This hypothesis is based on studies that have found an increase in the
frequency of allergies, asthma, and eczema in persons who have been raised in more sterile and
hygienic environments. Through over-cleaning ourselves, the theory states, the body’s immune
system is not challenged, and thus prevent it is prevented from developing
and maturing.29 In one study, children who grew up on farms had fewer allergies than did their
counterparts who did not live on farms.30 In another study, researchers found that respiratory
allergies were less frequent in people who were heavily exposed to microbes, leading the
researchers to conclude that, “Hygiene and a westernised, semisterile diet may facilitate atopy by
influencing the overall pattern of commensals and pathogens…thus contributing to the epidemic of
allergic asthma and rhinitis in developed countries.”31
Over 95% of the uses of triclosan are in consumer products that are disposed of in residential
drains.48 Since wastewater treatment plants fail to remove triclosan from the water and
the compound is highly stable for long periods of time,49 a huge amount of triclosan is expected
to be emitted into waterways. In a U.S. Geological Survey study of 95 different organic wastewater
contaminants in U.S. streams, triclosan was one of the most frequently detected compounds, and in
some of the highest concentrations.50 A study of triclosan in bodies of water in Switzerland also
found high concentrations of the chemical in several lakes and rivers, as well as lower levels of
methyl triclosan, its breakdown by-product.51 Methyl triclosan, which is formed by a process
called biological methylation, is actually more lipophilic than its parent compound, and thus more
bioaccumulative.52 Triclosan can have detrimental effects on aquatic ecosystems. It has been found
to be highly toxic to different types of algae.53 Triclosan effluents affect both the structure
and the function of algal communities in stream ecosystems.54 Because algae are the first-step
producers in aquatic ecosystems, high levels of triclosan discharged into the environment may
cause possible destruction of the balance of aquatic ecosystems.55 The risks are especially high
immediately downstream from wastewater treatment plants.56 Because of its lipophilic nature and
resistance to degradation, triclosan in waterways is readily available for absorption and
bioaccumulation by aquatic organisms in the environment.57 Researchers in Sweden found high levels
of triclosan present in the bile of fish that were placed in cages downstream of sewage treatment
works in Sweden.58 Methyl triclosan has also been found in fish.59 Although little is
known about the effects on fish, triclosan has been found to be highly toxic to Japanese medaka
fish in their early life stages, and may be a weak endocrine disruptor. 60
In 1997, the EPA acted to prevent the manufacturer of Playskool toys, Hasbro, Inc. (which sells
toys made with Microban® plastic containing triclosan), from making false claims about
protecting children from infectious diseases caused by bacteria because it did not prove efficacy
to EPA. Labels and advertisements for the toys suggested that the treatment protects children from
health risks, when in fact it protects only the plastic in the toy. The company is prevented from
making such claims due to a lack of reliable data to support them.
Under the agreement, Hasbro had to publish large advertisements in certain newspapers and
magazines about misrepresentation of the public health claim.63 Overall, the FDA and the EPA have
done little to warn consumers of the possible health and environmental effects of triclosan.
European countries, by contrast, have taken a much different approach to this chemical. In 2000,
the Danish EPA, National Board of Health, National Central Laboratory and the Danish Consumer
Information Center issued a joint statement advising consumers against the routine use of
antibacterial household and personal hygiene products, stating that their use is unnecessary for
domestic use and potentially harmful to the environment as they “are extremely persistent and
highly toxic in the marine environment.”64 Six Finnish public authorities also issued a statement
urging consumers to not use certain anti-bacterial chemicals, stating they are unnecessary and
that their growing use increases the risk of spreading antibiotic resistance in microbial
populations. The joint statement, also issued in 2000, stated, “Even Finnish hospitals don’t use
such chemicals for routine cleaning operations. In households we see more disadvantages than
advantages.” 65 That same year, soap and detergent manufacturers in Europe agreed to a ban on any
increase in its use over 1998 levels.66
1 FDA. 2001. Glossary of Pesticide Chemicals. gov/~acrobat/pestglos.pdf> (Accessed July 26, 2004).
2 American Medical Association. 2000. Use of Antimicrobials in Consumer
Products. Report 2 of the Council on Scienti. c A. airs (A-00).
3 Lurie, Z. 2004. Engaging in germ warfare. Journal Gaze. e. fortwayne.com/mld/journalgazette/929628.htm> (Accessed 8/2/04).;
SLACK, Inc. 2000. Overuse of triclosan may be creating resistant bacteria.
Infectious Disease News.
4 Levy, S. B. 2001. Antibacterial Household Products: Cause for Concern.
Emerging Infectious Diseases 7(3, Supplement): 512-515.
5 Ref. #2.
6 FSNET. 2000. Survey of U.S. Stores reveals widespread availability of
soaps containing potentially harmful antibacterial agents. Centre for Safe
Food, University of Guelph. September 10. fsnet/2000/9-2000/fs-09-10-00-01.txt> (Accessed 8/26/04). Of that half, a
small amount contained triclocarban instead of triclosan. Triclocarban is
an analogue of triclosan.
7 Adolfsson-Erici, M., M. Pe. ersson, J. Parkkonen, and J. Sturve. 2002.
Triclosan, a commonly used bactericide found in human milk and in the
aquatic environment in Sweden. Chemosphere 46:1485-1489.
environment in Sweden. Chemosphere 46:1485-1489.
8 U.S. EPA, O. ce of Preventions, Pesticides, and Toxic Substances. 2003.
Chapter 2: What is a pesticide? Label Review Manual. 3rd ed. Washington,
October 18, 2004).
9 Simpson, W. M., Jr. (Ed.). 2004. From the Literature. Agromedicine Program
Update 16(8), August 15.
(Accessed October 18, 2004).
10 McMurry, L. M., M. Oethinger, and S. B. Levy. 1998. Triclosan targets
lipid synthesis. Nature 394: 531-532.; Levy, C. W., A. Roujeinikovai,, S.
Sedelnikova, P. J. Baker, et al. 1999. Molecular Basis of Triclosan Activity.
Nature, 398: 383-384.
11 Levy et. al 1999 (Ref. #10); Ref. #6.
12 Levy, et al. 1999. (Ref #10)
13 Levy, S. B. 2002. Antimicrobial Consumer Products. Archives of Dermatology
14 Ref #4.
15 Larson, E. L., S. X. Lin, C. Gomez-Pichardo, and P. Della-La. a. 2004.
E. ect of anti-bacterial home cleaning and handwashing products on
infectious disease symptoms: a randomized, double-blind trial. Annals
of Internal Medicine 140:321-329.
16 Ref. #3.
Pesticides and You
Beyond Pesticides/National Coalition Against the Misuse of Pesticides
Page 16 Vol. 24, No. 3, 2004
17 Bhargava, H.N., and P.A. Leonard. 1996. Triclosan: applications and
safety. Am J Infect Control 24(3): 209-18.
18 Ref. #19; Strer E, K.J. Koh, and L. Warren. 2004. Severe contact dermatitis
as a result of an antiseptic bath oil. Australasian Journal of Dermatology
45(1): 73-75.; Triclosan: Allergic contact dermatitis following occupational
exposure: case report. Reactions 1(894): 11; Wong, C.M, and M.
H. Beck. 2001. Allergic contact dermatitis from triclosan in antibacterial
handwashes. Contact Dermatitis 45(5): 307; Perrenoud D. et al. 1994. Frequency
of sensitization to common preservatives in Switzerland. Contact
Dermatitis 30: 276-279.
19 Durbize E., M. Vigan, E. Puzenat, et al. 2003. Spectrum of cross-photosensitization
in 18 consecutive patients with contact photoallergy to
ketoprofen: associated photoallergies to non-benzophenone-containing
microbes. Contact Dermatitis 48(3): 144-149; Haz-Map nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/hazmap_search> (Accessed 7/27/04)
20 Haz-Map (Ref #19).
21 Sta. ord, J. 5 May 1997. Germ Warfare. Voices, Health and Fiction.
22 Triclosan. Material Safety Data Sheet, CNCCC.
23 Ref. #17.
24 Ref. #7.
25 Miller, T.L., Lorusso D. J., Walsh M. L., and M. L. Deinzer. 1983. The
acute toxicity of penta-, hexa-, and heptachlorohydroxydiphenyl ethers in
mice. Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health 12 (2-3):245-53.
26 Foran C.M, E. R. Benne. , and W. H. Benson. 2000. Developmental
evaluation of a potential non-steroidal estrogen: triclosan. Marine Environmental
28 Strachan D.P. 1989. Hay fever, hygiene, and household size. BMJ
299:1259-1260; Rook G.W., Stanford J.L. 1998. Give us this day our daily
germs. Immunology Today 19:113-6.
29 Ref. #4.
30 Braun-Fahrlander C.H., M. Gassner, L. Grize, U. Neu, et al. 1999. Prevalence
of hay fever and allergic sensitization in farmer’s children and their
peers living in the same rural community. Clin Exp Allergy 29: 28-34.
31 Matricardi P.M., F. Rosmini, S. Riondino, M. Fortini, et al. 2000. Exposure
to foodborne and orofecal microbes versus airborne viruses in relation to
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32 US Dept of Health and Human Services. 1998. Toxicological pro. le for
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Substances and Disease Registry; US EPA. 1994. Estimating exposure to
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33 U.S. EPA. 1994. Estimating exposure to dioxin-like compounds, Vol.
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34 Menoutis, J. and A. I. Parisi. 2001. Triclosan and its impurities. Triclosan
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35 Kanetoshi, A., H. Ogawa, E. Katsura, H. Kaneshima, and T. Miura. 1988.
Formation of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins upon combustion of commercial
textile products containing 2,4,4’-trichloro-2’hyroxydiphenyl ether
(Irgasan® DP300). Journal of Chromatography A 442: 289-299.
36 Latch, D.E., J.L. Packer, W..A. Arnolda, and K. McNeill. 2000. Photochemical
conversion of triclosan to 2,8-dichlorodibenzo-p-dioxin in aqueous
solution. Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology A: Chemistry
37 BBC News. 2003. Fears over antibacterial ingredient. Published 4-15-03,
BBC MMIV. < h. p://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/health/2950867.stm >
38 Kanetoshi A., H. Ogawa, E. Katsura, H. Kaneshima, and T. Miura. 1988.
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39 Heath, R., et al. 2000. Inhibition of the Staphylococcus aureus NADPHdependent
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J. Biol Chem. 275: 4654-59; Chuanchuen, R., K. Beinlich, T.T. hoang,
A. Becher, et al. 2001. Cross-resistance between triclosan and antibiotics
in Pseudomanas aeruginosa is mediated by multidrug e. ux pumps:
exposure of a susceptible mutant strain to triclosan selects nfxB mutants
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40 Ref. #2.; Chuanchuen, R. 2001 (Ref. #38).
41 Ref. #6.
42 Ref. #6.
43 Ref. #4.
44 Ref. #4.; Ref. #2.
45 Stenson, J. September 30, 2002. Antibacterial products may fuel growth
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46 Ref. #4; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center
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47 Ref. #2.
48 Reiss, R., N. Mackay, C. Habig, and J. Gri. n. 2002. An ecological risk
assessment for triclosan in lotic systems following discharge from wastewater
treatment plants in the United States. Environmental Toxicology
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49 Ref. #7; Ref. #48, Ref. #50, Ref. #51.
50 Kolpin, D. W., E. T. Furlong, M. T. Meyer, E. M. Thurman et al. 2002.
Pharmaceuticals, Hormones, and other organic wastewater contaminants
in U. S. streams, 1999-2000: A national reconnaissance. Environ. Sci. Technol.
51 Lindstrom, A., I. J.Buerge, T. Poiger, P. Berqvist et al. 2002. Occurrence
and environmental behavior of the bactericide triclosan and its methyl
derivative in surface waters and in wastewater. Environmental Science
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53 Tatarazako, N., H. Ishibashi, K. Teshima, K. Kishi, and K. Arizono.
2004. E. ects of triclosan on various aquatic organisms. Environmental
Sciences 11(2):133-140.; Wilson, B.A.; Orvos, D.R., D.J. Versteeg, J. Inauen,
M. Capdevielle, et al. 2002. Aquatic Toxicity of Triclosan. Environmental
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54 Wilson, B.A., V.H. Smith, F. deNoyelles Jr., and C.K. Larive. 2003.
E. ects of three pharmaceutical and personal care products on natural
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55 Tatarazako et al, 2004. (Ref. #53.)
56 Reiss, R., N. Mackay, C. Habig, and J. Gri. n. 2002. An ecological risk
assessment for triclosan in lotic systems following discharge from wastewater
treatment plants in the United States. Environmental Toxicology
and Chemistry 21(11): 2483-2492.
57 Ref. #7.
59 Balmer, M. E., T. Poiger, C. Droz, K. Romanin et al. 2004. Occurrence
of methyl triclosan, a transformation product of the bactericide triclosan,
in . shfrom various lakes in Switzerland. Environmental Science and
60 Ishibashi, H., N. Matsumura, M. Hirano, M. Matsuoka et al. 2004.
E. ects of triclosan on the early life stages and reproduction of medake
Oryzias latipes and induction of hepatic vitellogenin. Aquatic Toxicology
61 McCourt, Joy. Triclosan: the birth of a biocide.com/dreamerblue/triclosan.pdf> (Accessed 8/26/04).
63 U.S. EPA. April 18 1997. EPA acts to prevent Playskool toy manufacturer
Hasbro, Inc. from false claims about protecting children from microbial
infections. Press Release. Washington, DC.
64 Environment News Daily. 2000. Denmark discourages household
antibacterials. ENDS Report 862: October 26.
65 Environment News Daily. 2001. Finnish warning on anti-bacterial
chemicals. ENDS Report 933: February 16.
66 Environment News Daily. 2000. Toxicity fears limit triclosan use. ENDS
Report 309: October 12-13.
67 Environment News Daily. 2001. German appeal to limit anti-bacterial
use. ENDS Report 957: March 22.
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