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FDA To Decide Fate of Triclosan, Commonly Used In Antibacterial Soaps

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the washing-their-hands-of-it dept.

Government 223

kkleiner writes "The FDA is finalizing its review of the antibacterial agent triclosan common to many soaps and other health/household products after four decades of use. Recent studies suggest the chemical may be harmful to animals and could interfere with the human immune system along with increasing the proliferation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The agency has been slow to cast a verdict, to much criticism considering its widespread use."

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I sense a great disturbance in the web... (5, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#43774927)

As if millions of hypochondriacs cried out in terror and suddenly went to check WebMD.

Re:I sense a great disturbance in the web... (4, Funny)

0racle (667029) | about a year ago | (#43775001)

Not looking forward to listening to the sister-in-law and father-in-law if they do anything other than give it a huge thumbs up.

Not that SIL and FIL are right, but damn they're loud about being wrong. So damn wrong.

Re:I sense a great disturbance in the web... (5, Funny)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about a year ago | (#43775021)

there is no purpose for antibacterial soap. it is just a gimmick and fud that has bad implications because bacteria build up resistance over time. regular soap kills bacteria just fine. you know how a drop of soap will break up grease? the outside of a bacteria cell is just lipids, so the regular soap has the same effect on them. Good for FDA for limiting the explosion of antibacterial products. next step, eliminate antibiotics in farm food.

Re:I sense a great disturbance in the web... (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43775071)

While I agree with you, your next step will not happen. They will not give up antibiotics for farm animals. Hell, I would be glad to buy such a product and pay more for them. Producers however will never want to make that trade.

Re:I sense a great disturbance in the web... (1)

Belial6 (794905) | about a year ago | (#43775145)

If you want meat that is antibiotic free, you can certainly get it. You will just have to go to a much smaller producer. You will probably have to pay a lot more for it too. It is available though.

Re:I sense a great disturbance in the web... (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43775355)

As far as I can tell this is just not true in my area.
I drive about 2 hours for the pork, if my parents did not live nearby I would never do that. If I have to drive farther for meat, I might as well just buy factory farmed crap or skip the meat.

Re:I sense a great disturbance in the web... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43775407)

I'm not sure where you're from, but this site might be useful: http://www.eatwild.com/ [eatwild.com]

Re:I sense a great disturbance in the web... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43775429)

If you have to drive 2 hours to a grocery store, you can probably raise your own meat at home.

Re:I sense a great disturbance in the web... (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43775785)

Try reading.

I have to drive 2 hours to get pork from a family farm. A normal grocery store is less than 10 minutes away.

Re:I sense a great disturbance in the web... (2)

poetmatt (793785) | about a year ago | (#43775541)

farmers markets and CSA's exist for a reason, and exist everywhere. it's more common the more rural you are. That's all you have to find. I'd be shocked to find an area of the USA where there isn't a CSA or farmers market within 20-40 miles.

Re:I sense a great disturbance in the web... (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43775871)

I live in an urban area, and there is a farmers market ~20 miles away. They sell very little meat, and it goes fast. So if you want to get up at 8am on Saturday you do that. I would rather sleep and eat less meat. I will admit I am lazy.

Re:I sense a great disturbance in the web... (0)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about a year ago | (#43775151)

producers can kiss my ass, because what's best for america is what's best for them.

Re:I sense a great disturbance in the web... (1)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | about a year ago | (#43775171)

Producers however will never want to make that trade.

Large producers won't but smaller ones do. The critters I eat come from such farms and it is cheaper than buying from the grocery store. Then again those critters also aren't knee deep in their own shit or eating nose to nose like the ones at factory farms and feed lots.

Re:I sense a great disturbance in the web... (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43775187)

I have a source for pork like that but no other animals.

Beef locally is available, but they admit to using growth hormones and antibiotics. So I might as well go with factory farmed meat then.

I have never seen it cheaper than a grocery store. For example the pork I spoke of is more than $4/lb for the meat. The price appears lower at first, but once the butchering is done there is substantial loss.

Re:I sense a great disturbance in the web... (1)

losfromla (1294594) | about a year ago | (#43775217)

try the internets that's where I source my grass-fed antibiotic-free no-growth-hormone beef, pastured pork is available too. I get mine out of an outfit in texas. Good stuff!

Re:I sense a great disturbance in the web... (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43775239)

Shipping seems like it would be rather expensive.

Which is not that big a deal, I only eat meat at a maximum once a day.

Re:I sense a great disturbance in the web... (3, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year ago | (#43775511)

How do they get that stuff through the Internet?

Re:I sense a great disturbance in the web... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43775667)

They cut it into little pieces small enough to fit through the tubes.

Re:I sense a great disturbance in the web... (1)

interval1066 (668936) | about a year ago | (#43775549)

I don't know about the hormone additives but eating anti-bacterial free meat now will do nothing for you, you might as well eat it if its cheaper than the other stuff. Heeding the lessons of food additives in this generation can only benefit our children's children. Its already too late for us. All you're doing is spending more money for your food, it will be no safer for you.

Re:I sense a great disturbance in the web... (3, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43775821)

Actually I am trying to vote with my dollars, not improve my own health.

I would think it worth it if it improved the lives of my grandchildren.

Re:I sense a great disturbance in the web... (5, Interesting)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | about a year ago | (#43775551)

For beef last year I split 1/4 of a cow with my father and it came out to just over $4 a pound with processing and the farmer is one of my dad's long time friends. For pork my neighbor's brother raises hogs so I will split a quarter of a hog with him and that comes out to just under $3.50 a pound. Strangely the two farmers live about a mile apart and know each other. In both cases I end up paying the farmers directly and the processor for the bulk processing. Chickens I have to butcher and pluck them myself but they are small enough that it isn't a long job and I can pick one up on the way home from work for $5 as it is only about a mile out of my way. I get my deer processed at the same place as the hogs and cattle as they do a really good job and have won tons of state, regional, and national quality and cleanliness awards. They charge by finished weight $1/lb for steaks, chops, and roasts, and $0.25/lb to grind the trimmings into burger with sausages carrying extra fees depending on what you want done to cover the additional costs. Unlike some places the critter you bring in is the one you get back which seems to happen a lot with places that process venison. The other nice thing is since I know the farmers I have seen what the critters are fed, how the live, and how they are treated and know if they have been given hormones or antibiotics. It seems that there is a much stronger flavor from these critters when compared to the store bought ones probably because they aren't so over processed (treated with ammonia and packed in CO2) and fed a diet of something other than empty calories and hormones.

Re:I sense a great disturbance in the web... (2)

TwineLogic (1679802) | about a year ago | (#43775537)

If you live in the U.S., this type of meat is named "organic" and already on the shelves.

Hell, I would be glad to buy such a product and pay more for them.

You can do that already -- unless you object to the use of antibiotics on animals with an infection. Even organic labelling allows that. It's the non-therapeutic use of antibiotics that is prohibited.

Re:I sense a great disturbance in the web... (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43775849)

I cannot find organic beef regularly. I can never find organic irradiated ground meat. I like the irradiated as I eat burgers far too rare for good sense. If you are going to suggest cooking them, forget it. I would rather not eat a burger than eat a cooked one.

I actually do object to that use. Antibiotics should be reserved for humans and pets. Farm animals should be quarantined and if they do not recover, destroyed.

Re:I sense a great disturbance in the web... (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about a year ago | (#43776017)

Why not just feed soap to the cows, since it kills bacteria?

Re:I sense a great disturbance in the web... (4, Interesting)

pjbgravely (751384) | about a year ago | (#43775147)

You are correct that the soaps should be limited. Even though I am dependant on them. I have a long history of skin infections and nothing made it better until my doctor suggested using antibacterial soap. I am now almost free from them now. If they were banned hopefully I could get a prescription for the soap.

As for the farm animals most use antibiotics because of feeding corn to cows, or the crowded way chickens and pigs are kept. This use could be eliminated but food prices would go up.

Re:I sense a great disturbance in the web... (3, Informative)

hazem (472289) | about a year ago | (#43775457)

If they were banned hopefully I could get a prescription for the soap.

You could probably still get something like a chlorhexidine - it's antiseptic and antibiotic. One brand name is hibiclens. Vets use it a lot with animals with wounds and someone once told me it was also used as a surgical hand scrub.

Re:I sense a great disturbance in the web... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43775575)

I agree with the parent in the sense that there is a use for such soaps, but that doesn't mean it can't be more limited in use. I've had some issues with outbreaks on my shoulders and back, and the typical products I used as a teenage that kept my face pretty much pimple free did nothing. My doctor suggested using antibacterial soap. At first I thought he meant a prescription, but no, he meant just the Triclosan generic stuff. I had usually avoided the stuff before hand, but afterwards it clearly worked (even at one point double checking by only using it on one side and normal soap on the other, with a night and day difference). This doesn't mean everyone should use it, but it definitely has its uses in some cases.

The grandparent is an idiot, and as lipid layers of cells don't work like that and are much harder to break up. The concentrations, time, and mechanical agitation needed to break up cells using normal soap would be unrealistic for use on the skin, especially if you want to keep the skin intact. The point of soap is not to kill the bacteria, but to make it easier to wash things off the skin that would not wash off with water alone.

Re:I sense a great disturbance in the web... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43775329)

Biofilms resist soap, but they resist Triclosan too.

Re:I sense a great disturbance in the web... (1, Funny)

EmagGeek (574360) | about a year ago | (#43775441)

So it sounds to me like what you're saying is that SOAP is also anti-bacterial, because it kills bacteria.

Obviously the FDA needs to ban SOAP as well. I mean, they hardly use it at all in Europe, and they get along just fine.. except maybe for a little BO now and then.

Re:I sense a great disturbance in the web... (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about a year ago | (#43775553)

don't be a douche. soap already has antibacterial properties, which is why you don't need to include antibiotics such as the chemical in the summary, which just leads to strains of bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics.

Re:I sense a great disturbance in the web... (4, Informative)

interval1066 (668936) | about a year ago | (#43775509)

regular soap kills bacteria just fine.

No it doesn't. Soap just serves to make the surface of your skin slippery enough to shed the little buggars. If we all really felt the need to kill germs sans anti-bacterial chemicals we should be washing with bleach, but since that's not really a good idea for your skin our military-industrial complex came up with "anti-bacterials". By the way- researchers were warning us about the rise of superbugs becuase we started down this stupid path 30 years ago. I guess as usual we all refused to listen. Now we have a huge, hideous, monster of a problem looming. Good job, humanity.

Re:I sense a great disturbance in the web... (2)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year ago | (#43775323)

Only the ignorant hypochondriacs. The better informed ones are more concerned about triclosan affecting their epigenetics and giving them multiple drug resistant hand-ebola bacteria.

Source: I am an over-informed hypochondriac. I cringe when I have to touch receipts. [nih.gov]

Toothpaste (2, Insightful)

G-News.ch (793321) | about a year ago | (#43774931)

Personally, I find the thought that we put that stuff in our mouths every day much more worrying than the use in soaps. It's also in fabrics, clothing, plastic tools etc.

Re:Toothpaste (4, Funny)

guttentag (313541) | about a year ago | (#43774969)

Personally, I find the thought that we put that stuff in our mouths every day much more worrying than the use in soaps.

Perhaps you just need a brand in a shinier box? I suggest you try the new Crest 4D White toothpaste. It has every bit as much fluoride as 3D White, but comes in a new extra-shiny with sparklies box. Those matte boxes will make your teeth rot.

Re:Toothpaste (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year ago | (#43775089)

lol Crest... how is that crap not banned by the FDA? Your teeth will go longer without it.

Re:Toothpaste (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43775111)

Plus, Crest 4D White cleans your teeth with the power of TIME ITSELF, as opposed to just volume like the old 3D White did. That's not to disparage 3D White; once Crest Toothologists discovered the secrets to cleaning teeth with more than just area like with 2D White, entire new areas of marketing research opened up!

Re:Toothpaste (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43774971)

I know what you mean. Most toothpastes even have dihydrogen monoxide in it which is even worse. It's the same stuff used in toilet bowl cleansers!

Re:Toothpaste (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43775307)

Hitler's water was lousy with the stuff since birth and look what happened!

Re:Toothpaste (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43775391)

Hydrogen oxide is sufficient you stupid, redundant fuckass. If you're going to repeat a tired old meme, then at least state it with some sense of intelligence.

Re:Toothpaste (1)

Jeffrey_Walsh VA (1335967) | about a year ago | (#43775913)

I agree triclosan in toothpaste is much more disconcerting, but the widespread use all adds to our toxic burden. Triclosan, while not a dioxin, is derived from dioxins, is chemically similar and sometimes breaks down into dioxins under conditions that do occur with our products that contain triclosan. It provides cheap way for the petrochemical industy to rid themselves of a difficult-to-dispose-of hazardous waste. The manufacturers of products like soap and toothpaste can get a longer shelf life with it, but market it as being better for consumers.

the scare the women marketing strategy (4, Insightful)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#43774933)

always works, especially older women

GERMS. OMG, GERMS. my wife used to buy this crap and i refused to use it because there was literature in the 90's about how it made you sicker in the end by screwing up your immune system

Re:the scare the women marketing strategy (3, Insightful)

anagama (611277) | about a year ago | (#43775035)

Anecdote:

I started life as a dirty hippy. There are quite a few photos, by the instamatic standards of the late 60s, of me crawling around naked in river beds next to the campgrounds we lived in or sitting in mud puddles splashing about. In one photo, I'm sitting in the dry part of a riverbed chewing on a stick I must have picked up, smiling like an idiot smile while some dirt and drool seep out of the corner of my mouth.

Anyway, I almost never get sick and the only thing I have an allergy to is acetaminophen. I do shower almost everyday now though.

Re:the scare the women marketing strategy (5, Insightful)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | about a year ago | (#43775179)

You're tough, you didn't die, you've lived to post about it.

Every kid that was killed by weird diseases caused by picking things up, isn't posting.

Shouldn't those kids die? (3, Insightful)

bussdriver (620565) | about a year ago | (#43775235)

Is it not nature that the unhealthy do not pass on their genes? We evolved too, not just the bacteria... except we stopped. Insensitive? no, realistic - stop living in a dreamworld you can't ever completely win against nature. It is one thing to take precautions by not swimming in your shit pool and quite another to wage an expensive a war against nature.

Re:Shouldn't those kids die? (2)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | about a year ago | (#43775505)

They shouldn't wage an expensive a war against nature.

You shouldn't spend too much just to stay alive.

I will spend whatever it takes to stay alive and comfortable.

Substitute anyone for "They", "You", and "I".

Re:Shouldn't those kids die? (4, Insightful)

DarkTempes (822722) | about a year ago | (#43775515)

Just because it's what has worked so far for "nature" doesn't mean that it's the best way or the way that we have to do things.

Ideally we'd figure out what bacteria are in dirt that we need to expose some kids to for healthy immune system development and we'd use that knowledge to more directly influence immune system development. "Nature" can't do that but luckily we might just be rational conscious entities with that potential.

We can afford to keep the "weak" alive as a species and I posit that it's better overall for community emotional, moral, and intellectual health.

I put nature in quotes because it's an idea that we made up and does not necessarily reflect reality (but it might).

Re:Shouldn't those kids die? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43775923)

Just because it's what has worked so far for "nature" doesn't mean that it's the best way or the way that we have to do things.

On a long enough time frame, yes it is the way we have to do things.

We can afford to keep the "weak" alive as a species and I posit that it's better overall for community emotional, moral, and intellectual health.

But not physical health.

I put nature in quotes because it's an idea that we made up and does not necessarily reflect reality (but it might).

You're an idiot.

Re:Shouldn't those kids die? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43775617)

No. we're selecting for intelligence now. The marginal difference of a few kids that were needlessly overexposed is not helping anyone.

Re:Shouldn't those kids die? (4, Insightful)

tlambert (566799) | about a year ago | (#43775941)

Is it not nature that the unhealthy do not pass on their genes? We evolved too, not just the bacteria... except we stopped. Insensitive? no, realistic - stop living in a dreamworld you can't ever completely win against nature. It is one thing to take precautions by not swimming in your shit pool and quite another to wage an expensive a war against nature.

What about insulin for diabetics? What about glasses for myopic or presbiopic people, or publishing anything at all in Braile, along with the manufacture of white sticks? What about Erucic acid for Adrenoleukodystrophy? What about cyanocobalamin/hydroxocobalamin injections for pernicious anemia? What about iron supplements for women?

There are plenty of us who would be dead now, had we been born in the 1200's; insulin dependent diabetics (type I diabetes) were pretty much dead until the 1920's, and later than that, if they couldn't afford the private manufacturing costs for ongoing treatment - assuming they were even correctly diagnosed in time.

We've been "preventing" natural selection ever since we first started dabbling in medicine in prehistory, and earlier than that, if you include appointing "minders" to keep the tribes near-sighted oral history from walking off a cliff.

Would it be great if we could all be genetically perfect? Yeah. But I'm not willing to buy into the idea of some eugenically managed "naturalist" utopian ideal to get there.

Re:the scare the women marketing strategy (3, Interesting)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about a year ago | (#43775455)

There is evidence, including a large Finnish study, that the more variety of microbes you're exposed to as a child, the healthier your immune system as an adult and the less likely you are to have autoimmune diseases.

Re:the scare the women marketing strategy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43775653)

You know who else isn't posting? The people who died as a result of the overuse of antibiotics.

So the question is, which is better? Unfortunately, I am not suited to answer such a question.

Re:the scare the women marketing strategy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43775175)

like those automatic soap dispenser advertising that then you don't get germs from touching it.
I'd think that normally you touch the soap before you wash you hands ....

Re:the scare the women marketing strategy (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | about a year ago | (#43775571)

like those automatic soap dispenser advertising that then you don't get germs from touching it. I'd think that normally you touch the soap before you wash you hands ....

Either way, the next thing you touch is the tap, then again after you've washed your hands. I can't fathom what practical purpose those automatic soap dispensers serve, besides extracting more money from clean freaks.

Re:the scare the women marketing strategy (5, Interesting)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year ago | (#43775301)

Sadly, this is a common marketing strategy, for several reasons:
- Women are a lot more likely to be homemakers than men, so they're easier to bombard with advertising.
- Women are slightly more likely than men to make decisions using emotion rather than logic (everyone uses both ways of deciding, but where they conflict men are about 60-40 in favor of logic while women are about 60-40 in favor of emotion).
- Women do most of the shopping in most households.
- Women are significantly more socialized than men to give presents to each other to cement social bonds.

All this adds up to advertisers targeting women for common household products, particularly women who grew up before the rise of Second-wave Feminism. And although this is changing a bit, most ads for cleaning supplies, food, diapers, paper towels, etc feature those products being used by women rather than men.

Re:the scare the women marketing strategy (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about a year ago | (#43775471)

"feature those products being used by women rather than men."

Lots of products aimed at men feature women too. If you want to sell something to women, put a woman on it. If you want to sell something to men, put a woman on it. We just all like to look at women, rather than men.

Re:the scare the women marketing strategy (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year ago | (#43775847)

That's why I focused on who was using the product rather than just who was on the screen. For instance, Axe body spray ads have lots of women in them, but none of those women are actually using it. By contrast, ads for breakfast cereal are much more likely to show a mom serving it than a dad doing the same thing.

SOAP (4, Informative)

stanlyb (1839382) | about a year ago | (#43774975)

There is only on kind of soap that works, the one that ALL the doctors are using, the plain, simple, normal SOAP. No artificial ingredients, no strawberry scent (who wanna to eat soap!!!) nothing.

Re:SOAP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43775059)

doctors use some alcohol based cleaning product as far as I know.

Re:SOAP (1)

stanlyb (1839382) | about a year ago | (#43775263)

It is fast and easy to use, but if you want to really get rid of the bacteria, plain old soap, 20s at least.

Re:SOAP (1)

fl!ptop (902193) | about a year ago | (#43775081)

plain, simple, normal SOAP

How simple [frontierfreedom.com] are you talking about?

Re:SOAP (1)

stanlyb (1839382) | about a year ago | (#43775241)

Actually, the site got it wrong, originally it was not animal sacrifices, but human ones.... Nevertheless, that's the only ingredients you need: fat, water,lye. Is there anything more simple than this formula!

Re:SOAP (4, Informative)

evilviper (135110) | about a year ago | (#43775097)

There is only on kind of soap that works, the one that ALL the doctors are using, the plain, simple, normal SOAP. No artificial ingredients, no strawberry scent (who wanna to eat soap!!!) nothing.

While most medical staff do indeed use plain soap, surgeons at least, are required to use antibacterial soap.

Re:SOAP (1)

G00F (241765) | about a year ago | (#43775467)

There is only on kind of soap that works, the one that ALL the doctors are using, the plain, simple, normal SOAP. No artificial ingredients, no strawberry scent (who wanna to eat soap!!!) nothing.

While most medical staff do indeed use plain soap, surgeons at least, are required to use antibacterial soap.

I thought surgeons scrubbed with iodine.

Re:SOAP (1)

evilviper (135110) | about a year ago | (#43775625)

Iodine is the most common antibacterial agent in surgical soap solution, but no, surgeons aren't pouring the standard liquid form of povidone-iodine on their hands. It wouldn't lather, and would leave a horrendous stain on their skin.

Re:SOAP (3, Informative)

evilviper (135110) | about a year ago | (#43775663)

Betadine surgical scrub consists of:

Active Ingredients
Povidone-iodine, 7.5% (0.75% available iodine)

Inactive Ingredients
Ammonium Nonoxynol-4 Sulfate, Nonoxynol-9, Purified Water, and Sodium Hydroxide.

http://www.purduepharma.com/PI/NonPrescription/A6910B16.pdf [purduepharma.com]

Re:SOAP (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | about a year ago | (#43775803)

Betadine surgical scrub consists of:
...
Nonoxynol-9
...

OK, so tell me, why do surgeons want to rub a spermicide [wikipedia.org] on their hands. On second thoughts, please don't tell me; I just ate dinner...

Re:SOAP (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year ago | (#43775889)

No, you're thinking that because of their personalities.

(Iodine has been deprecated for most things. It's not terribly effective.)

antibiotics are bad (1)

onyxruby (118189) | about a year ago | (#43774995)

Unless your sick you should not take antibiotics as it raises your resistance to them. Save them for when you need them and they will work much better.

Re:antibiotics are bad (2)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | about a year ago | (#43775189)

Well, yes. Livestock that are given antibiotics, even when not sick, gain weight faster. We don't know why.

People are getting fatter...

Re:antibiotics are bad (1)

PCM2 (4486) | about a year ago | (#43775205)

Unless your sick you should not take antibiotics as it raises your resistance to them.

Why would you want to succumb to antibiotics? Or, if you had no resistance to them, why would you swallow them?

Re:antibiotics are bad (3, Informative)

PCM2 (4486) | about a year ago | (#43775215)

Actually, on a more serious note, TFA is not talking about antibiotics. The word used is antibacterial, which refers to things that can kill bacteria while not being harmful to humans. For more clarity, a better term would be antimicrobial soaps, because they can also work on a variety of other microbes. But there is no real relationship between these agents and the kinds of antibiotics that come in pills.

Re:antibiotics are bad (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about a year ago | (#43775497)

"But there is no real relationship between these agents and the kinds of antibiotics that come in pills."

Wrong.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16922622 [nih.gov]

Re:antibiotics are bad (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year ago | (#43775917)

Well, that definition would also apply to your classical 'antibiotic'. It appears from the Wikipedia site that Triclosan is not a generic antimicrobial in that it won't affect viruses, protozoa or Scientologists.

At in-use concentrations, triclosan acts as a biocide, with multiple cytoplasmic and membrane targets.[16] At lower concentrations, however, triclosan appears bacteriostatic and is seen to target bacteria mainly by inhibiting fatty acid synthesis. Triclosan binds to bacterial enoyl-acyl carrier protein reductase enzyme (ENR), which is encoded by the gene FabI. This binding increases the enzyme's affinity for nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+). This results in the formation of a stable ternary complex of ENR-NAD+-triclosan, which is unable to participate in fatty acid synthesis. Fatty acids are necessary for reproducing and building cell membranes. Humans do not have an ENR enzyme, and thus are not affected. Some bacterial species can develop low-level resistance to triclosan at its lower bacteriostatic concentrations because of FabI mutations, which results in a decrease of triclosan's effect on ENR-NAD+ binding, as shown in Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus.[17][18] Another way for these bacteria to gain low-level resistance to triclosan is to overexpress FabI.[19] Some bacteria have innate resistance to triclosan at low, bacteriostatic levels, such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which possesses multi-drug efflux pumps that "pump" triclosan out of the cell.[20] Other bacteria, such as some of the Bacillus genus, have alternative FabI genes (FabK) to which triclosan does not bind and hence are less susceptible.

Re:antibiotics are bad (1)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#43775231)

antibiotics are given for a short time
these antiobiotic soaps are used all the time which is what creates the resistant strains
with normal antibiocs they kill enough bacteria for your body to finish the job

Re:antibiotics are bad (3, Interesting)

Artraze (600366) | about a year ago | (#43775577)

The awfulness of this post is pretty remarkable. Sidestepping the wrong "your":
*) This antibiotic isn't for "taking", it's for things that aren't edible like soap and toothpaste
*) Overuse of antibiotics doesn't "raise your resistance to them", at best it increases the bacteria's resistance to them, but in actually it just increases the chance of creating an antibiotic resistance strain. Almost all of the time, however, any resistant bacteria that may develop are killed by other means (like your immune system) and don't live on.
*) One should never save antibiotics, but rather take them when prescribed and as prescribed. While your post could be construed as saying that, the reality is that antibiotics generally require a prescription so it's unlikely anyone will have any to save unless they were sick but are feeling better halfway through the prescription. Saving them at that point is the worst possible thing you can do; not taking a full regimen is what is primarily responsible for resistance.

All that being said, the first point is the most important: this is an external antibiotic. Since it's not applying evolutionary pressure while the bacteria are in your body, there isn't a combined force to make deadly resistant bacteria: ones that survive the antibiotic may not be as effective in the body and thus no one cares. Further, even if that is not the case, the mechanism of action is not the same as other antibiotics so it can still be killed off effectively. For instance, MRSA which is resistant to basically every internal antibiotic can be killed by Triclosan (the chemical in question).

It's very important to understand that not all antibiotics are the same. Something like a blast furnace will kill bacteria and they will never develop a resistance to it, period. However, it will also kill all of humanity so it's not a fantastic treatment for infection. Ditto with chemicals like ethylene oxide or other physical means like gamma rays. Something like bleach is also very effective at killing bacteria, and can even do so on human skin, but obviously doesn't leave the skin doing so well on longer exposure. There are many many things that kill bacteria. The only ones that are really 'special' and need careful use are the ones that can kill bacteria without killing people. Triclosan kind of falls in the middle and while it deserves some consideration, that 'ZOMG RESISTANCE" response isn't really appropriate either.

FDA Approved it for Toothpaste in 1997 (1)

guttentag (313541) | about a year ago | (#43775065)

So if they ban it in soap, will people start washing their hands with Colgate's Total toothpaste? I'm sure there are already people who rub Colgate's "Optic White" in their eyes to whiten their vision.

Does anyone actually think this will be pulled, (1)

fredrated (639554) | about a year ago | (#43775069)

after 4 decades of profit? Not likely.

Re:Does anyone actually think this will be pulled, (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43775379)

Well, if the ruling is only on triclosan, then they'll probably just switch to one of the alternatives like triclocarban (already used in some Dial soaps), or something else.

Re:Does anyone actually think this will be pulled, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43775591)

If a drug company filed for a patent on quadclosan, you'd better believe the old one would be pulled post-haste and the new one pushed out to the market for years before anyone asks whether it's going to kill us.

Re:Does anyone actually think this will be pulled, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43775911)

I think Dial just filed for a patent on trilithosan.

Re:Does anyone actually think this will be pulled, (1)

Tailhook (98486) | about a year ago | (#43775851)

Phosphates are being removed from detergents after who knows how many decades of profit. Will that fact impact your distorted world view? Not likely.

Only valid use is in toothpaste (3, Interesting)

WillAdams (45638) | about a year ago | (#43775093)

where it is markedly better than anything else, though I wouldn't object to seeing it prescription only.

All other usages should be discontinued.

Further, _all_ anti-biotics should be on a rotating schedule, and only used for a period of time brief enough that it's unlikely bacteria will develop resistance, then some other similar anti-biotic rotated in, repeat as necessary, and new anti-biotics are added into the rotation schedule (and only used when prescribed by a doctor, or injected by a veterinarian).

This could be easily enforced by manipulating the expiration dates of anti-biotics.

William

Re:Only valid use is in toothpaste (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43775405)

Further, _all_ anti-biotics should be on a rotating schedule, and only used for a period of time brief enough that it's unlikely bacteria will develop resistance, then some other similar anti-biotic rotated in, repeat as necessary, and new anti-biotics are added into the rotation schedule.

I don't get it ... how is this any better than using one until a resistance is developed against it and then switching to another one? It seems like the problem would happen with equal probability.

Re:Only valid use is in toothpaste (1)

WillAdams (45638) | about a year ago | (#43775443)

I said:

> only used for a period of time brief enough that it's unlikely bacteria will develop resistance

as opposed to the current scheme of continuing to use until anti-biotic resistance is pervasive.

Remove the anti-biotic from the environment and there won't be a selection for resistance (instead there will be a selection for the replacment), but before there's selection for the second, rotate in a third, rinse, lather and repeat.

But above all, usage of anti-biotics should be minimized to:

  - people who are genuinely ill (prescribed and monitored by a doctor, w/ a rigorous lecture on the importance of completing the entire regimen)
  - small dosage uses with a genuine payoff in societal terms (preventing cavities is the only one coming to mind)
  - animals who are genuinely ill and a veterinarian deems worth saving

Re:Only valid use is in toothpaste (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43775599)

> only used for a period of time brief enough that it's unlikely bacteria will develop resistance

as opposed to the current scheme of continuing to use until anti-biotic resistance is pervasive.

I don't think evolution works like you think it works. Selective pressure is selective pressure -- continuous or not.

Re:Only valid use is in toothpaste (1)

omnichad (1198475) | about a year ago | (#43775535)

Further, _all_ anti-biotics should be on a rotating schedule

All of medicine already does it. Except for a longer time - and when the patent expires, the medicine never goes back into rotation.

Re:Only valid use is in toothpaste (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43775561)

Is triclosan better than xylitol?

The two together work much better than triclosan alone in reducing harmful oral bacteria, but I can't find a study comparing the two against each other.

Re:Only valid use is in toothpaste (1)

Burz (138833) | about a year ago | (#43775737)

If you want a long-term antibiotic type effect in your mouth, eat foods or supplements that are rich in vitamin K2. It is chemically/structurally similar to vitamin K, but the 'small' difference makes it play an almost entirely different role in the body. K2 (especially the MK4 and MK7 variants, used with vitamin A/cod liver oil) has a moderating/managing effect on calcium uptake and tooth/bone health and somehow prevents plaque buildup (to the point where I wonder sometimes if I should bother brushing my teeth). More calcium ends up in your bones and less clinging to your arteries.

Some fermented bean products (like Japanese natto) have tons of K2, and this is where a lot of supplements get their source.

Surprise at antibiotics resistance increase? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43775133)

That the widespread use of antibiotics would lead to an increase in resistance to antibiotics is plainly obvious, even to non-experts like me. Certainly the experts that study this know it too. So why are they surprised? Clearly, there must be something that made them think that maybe resistance will not increase. Would anybody please enlighten me?

Re:Surprise at antibiotics resistance increase? (1)

dccase (56453) | about a year ago | (#43775285)

Pour enough of anything down the drains and something will learn to eat it.

Statism at its "best" (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43775163)

Yet another extremely useful chemical being outlawed by dumbass statists because of some MORON liberals and leftists screaming about "saving the children!!!" What's next? I know!

Dihydrogen monoxide is colorless, odorless, tasteless, and kills uncounted thousands of people every year. Most of these deaths are caused by accidental inhalation of DHMO, but the dangers of dihydrogen monoxide do not end there. Prolonged exposure to its solid form causes severe tissue damage. Symptoms of DHMO ingestion can include excessive sweating and urination, and possibly a bloated feeling, nausea, vomiting and body electrolyte imbalance. For those who have become dependent, DHMO withdrawal means certain death.

Dihydrogen monoxide:
- is the major component of acid rain
- contributes to the "greenhouse effect"
- it can cause severe burns in its gaseous state
- contributes to erosion
- accelerates corrosion and rusting of many metals
- may cause electrical failures and decreased effectiveness of automobile brakes
- has been found in tumors of terminal cancer patients

Despite the dangers, dihydrogen monoxide is often used:
- as an industrial solvent and coolant.
- in nuclear power plants.
- in the production of styrofoam.
- as a fire retardant.
- in many forms of cruel animal research.
- as an additive in certain "junk-foods" and other food products.

VOTE OBAMA AND BAN BIHYDROGEN MONOXIDE!!!!

Fucking statist idiots.

Vote Ron Paul 2016, save America from liberals leftists and statists.

Re:Statism at its "best" (0)

sqrt(2) (786011) | about a year ago | (#43775341)

It's telling how difficult this satirical trolling is to distinguish from actual Libertarian ranting. I've heard people defend a corporation's "right" to put nicotine in food, and not even have to label it. A third party business would spring up, specializing in testing and reporting on the contents of food. This business would of course always be accurate and truthful because their reputation is on the line! If they started taking bribes from food producers to lie in their reports then ANOTHER fact-checking business would catch them.

It's libertarians all the way down...

Re:Statism at its "best" (1, Interesting)

Burz (138833) | about a year ago | (#43775901)

Indeed, it is libertarians all the way down in corporate thinking, and the corporate class are free to do what they want as long they have reached that stage of critical mass and minimal competition. We are supposed to ignore that the producers are free to affect the testing business through purchase of stock, etc. At least with government testing and standards, the regulatory capture should be readily apparent (Citizens United is an attempt to circumvent this, however).

Re:Statism at its "best" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43776011)

Libertarianism is PROVEN to be the best economic model. Period. Read a book sometime, you leftist moron.

Re:Statism at its "best" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43775431)

Hydrogen oxide is a sufficient description you irritating faggot. So dumb for such a smart ass.

Re:Statism at its "best" (1, Insightful)

Burz (138833) | about a year ago | (#43775831)

This is priceless libertarian pro-corporate agita :D

How about saving people from the endless screaming via ads about having to use whatever new chemicals that will make us shiny, youthful and lovable? People are bombarded with advertising crap every day, sometimes all day non-stop. It is absolutely essential to push back on the worst of their getting rich through innovative chemistry schemes. Corporations do not have a right to propagandize (and even force) us into using their products in the absence of skepticism.

Other serious consequences (3, Informative)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | about a year ago | (#43775351)

It isn't just the immune system that it affects. It has been shown to decrease muscle strength [sciencenews.org] --including the heart. It also readily reacts with the chlorine in household tap water to form chloroform [acs.org] , a recognized carcinogen [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Other serious consequences (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43775925)

Did you just google how to create chloroform? TERRORIST!!!!!!

Triclosan (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a year ago | (#43775567)

In soap really there isn't any evidence that it has a positive effect. Soap itself is a disinfectant, and triclosan isn't known to improve the effect. There is no reason to have triclosan in soap.

However triclosan in toothpaste really does prevent gingivitis.

The question is whether or not there are unintended consequences. I'm skeptical - too many of these studies are not reproducible, such as in the case of bisphenol-a.

http://munews.missouri.edu/news-releases/2013/0102-previous-studies-on-toxic-effects-of-bpa-couldn%E2%80%99t-be-reproduced-says-mu-research-team/ [missouri.edu]

Immune system practice... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43775955)

All the more reason I don't wash my hands! :D
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