EPA accused of ignoring sewage chemicals

May 10, 2006

U.S. scientists say tons of bacteria-killing chemicals are being released into the environment annually, possibly entering food and water supplies.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore say about 75 percent of the antibacterial chemicals used in soaps and numerous other household products end up on farm fields, yet no government agency monitors or regulates them, The Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.

The scientists say about 200 tons of two commonly used chemicals -- triclocarban and triclosan -- are applied annually to agricultural lands nationwide.

The antibacterial chemicals are used in dishwashing and hand soaps, toothpaste, cutting boards and shower curtains, with about 1,500 such products introduced since 2000, the Times said.

Rolf Halden, an assistant Johns Hopkins professor who led the study, noted triclocarban, used in antibacterial soaps and toothpaste, is "potentially problematic."

"What we are finding is this chemical is building up in the environment," Halden said. "This is an example of an emerging contaminant. It has been in the environment for almost five decades, and we manufacture large volumes of it, but we don't know what happens to it."

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Australians rally for climate, including at G20 talks

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Study suggests that being too clean can make people sick

Nov 29, 2010

Young people who are overexposed to antibacterial soaps containing triclosan may suffer more allergies, and exposure to higher levels of Bisphenol A among adults may negatively influence the immune system, a new University ...

Some antibacterials come with worrisome silver lining

Feb 24, 2014

Silver has long been known for its ability to kill some of the nasty microbes that can make people sick. In hospitals, it's used to help burn victims, to combat germs on catheters and even to wipe out dangerous "superbugs" ...

Recommended for you

Tens of thousands join London climate march

33 minutes ago

Tens of thousands of people in London joined a global day of protest Sunday to demand action on climate change, among them British actress Emma Thompson who said the challenge to save the planet was like ...

UN summit to test commitment to climate fund

36 minutes ago

A global fund created to spearhead climate change financing faces a key test at a UN summit this week when it looks to the leaders of the industrialised world to stump up billions of dollars to fill its underflowing ...

Green dream: Can UN summit revive climate issue?

Sep 20, 2014

Five years ago, the environment movement was in its heyday as politicians, actors, rock stars and protestors demanded a looming UN summit brake the juggernaut of climate change.

User comments : 0