Halden NY Times op-ed addresses making chemistry green

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Halden NY Times op-ed addresses making chemistry green

November 10, 2014

November 10, 2014

November 10, 2014

In an op-ed published in the New York Times, ASU professor Rolf Halden addressed a critical societal issue affecting our soils, water and food—the active ingredients of antimicrobial products such as soaps and toothpaste.

The key question for society is, in our zest to rid itself of pesky germs, are we trading off our long-term health and the health of our planet?

The active ingredients in more than 2,500 consumer products, representing a multi-billion dollar market, are compounds called triclosan and tricarban. This is an extremely pertinent issue now, as the FDA considers in the near future, on Dec. 16, data from companies to prove these active ingredients are safe for the American public or forever pull them off consumer shelves. 

Halden, along with Johns Hopkins co-author Robert Lawrence, looked at the decades-long legacy of chemicals like antimicrobials and the FDA and EPA regulatory response. 

"For nearly 40 years, the Food and Drug Administration has wrestled with regulating the chemicals triclosan and triclocarban as they have become among the world’s most ubiquitous environmental contaminants. Designed to kill bacteria, they have been added to antibacterial soaps, cosmetics and other consumer products despite longstanding concerns about their impacts on humans and the environment.

The fact that they are still being used underscores the need to reform the nation’s regulatory system and manufacturing approach for chemicals."

To read the full article and comments, go to http://nyti.ms/10NOTi7

 

Written by: Joe Caspermeyer