News & Events

Banned Hand Soap? Facebook Live Q&A

August 24, 2017

Get answers from Rolf Halden, Ph.D., Director, Biodesign Center for Environmental Health Engineering!  ASU scientist Rolf Halden and his team persisted for 14 years to prove that antibacterial chemicals triclosan and triclocarban were causing more harm than good. His research helped inform the FDA ban on these and 17 other chemicals that goes into effect Sept. 2.  Post your questions about the ban and these toxic chemicals on the Arizona State University Facebook page...

Understanding Biofouling in Membrane Bioreactor Systems for Water Reclamation and Reuse

July 26, 2017

Presented by TorOve Leiknes, Ph.D., Professor of Environmental Engineering, Biological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Water Desalination and Reuse Center, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia. To meet the demands that increasing population will bring, we need to change our current water management practices and review nonconventional water-source options. Wastewater reclamation for urban agriculture is certainly worth pursuing. Membrane...

Scientists call for immediate worldwide halt to consumer use of two widespread antimicrobial chemicals

June 20, 2017

A pair of chemicals—prized for their antimicrobial properties—rose to become superstars in industry. Triclocarban is used in various soaps, while triclosan additionally appears in thousands of items of daily use in the United States and around the world, from pencils and office supplies to clothing and toothpaste, from toys and yoga mats to deodorants and cosmetics. But a growing chorus of researchers has raised serious questions regarding both the efficacy and safety of these products....

ASU professor’s environmental toxins research translates into public health benefits

May 15, 2017

For Rolf Halden, every day is Earth Day. In fact, you may be hard-pressed to find a professional willing to dirty his hands so much to help the earth and its inhabitants. Halden is the director of the Center for Environmental Security at ASU’s Biodesign Institute. He studies wastewater from U.S. cities to zero in on potentially harmful chemicals found in personal products used by millions of Americans. The professor brings expertise in identifying exactly what chemicals we come in...

ASU researchers recognized as changemakers by MacArthur Foundation

April 20, 2017

Three ASU professors were recently highlighted by the MacArthur Foundation and recognized as "changemakers" during MacArthur's $100 million, “100&Change” grant competition.   ASU’s Rolf Halden, Leah Gerber and Rimjhim Aggarwal were recognized as "top 200" entries among the nearly thousand applicants in the competition.   This year’s competition was unusual in the fact that the MacArthur Foundation changed their grant making approach to have a big impact on...

ASU researcher says human waste provides window into public health

February 9, 2017

University is home to National Sewage Sludge Repository, comprising samples from 200 wastewater treatment plants It’s not touted on the side of a bus, but Arizona State University is full of it. The university is home to the National Sewage Sludge Repository. Collected from 200 wastewater treatment plants, representing 10 percent of the U.S. population, it’s the largest archive of its kind in the country. Row upon row of white freezers are packed with (at last count) more than...

Down the Drain

September 23, 2016

Rolf Halden, Ph.D., Director, Biodesign Center for Environmental Security We all worry about revealing too much personal information online, but can you imagine the wealth of information contained in a city's sewage? Hear how Halden and his team are using wastewater to reveal a city population's health, lifestyle and consumption. And millions of dollars’ worth of nutrients and metals are literally flushed down the drain. This is a Spirit of the Senses salon. Members and Biodesign...

Antimicrobial chemicals in indoor dust associated with higher count of antibiotic-resistance genes

September 7, 2016

In a collaborative study involving four major universities, researchers have found links between the levels of antimicrobial chemicals and antibiotic-resistance genes in the dust of an aging building used for athletics and academics.   The association was particularly striking for triclosan, the most commonly used antibacterial ingredient in personal care products. Whereas the study design investigated co-occurrence rather than causation, the study does point to a probable cause...

FDA rules to ban ingredients in antimicrobial soaps

September 2, 2016

FDA issues final rule on safety and effectiveness of antibacterial soaps Rule removes triclosan and triclocarban from over-the-counter antibacterial hand and body washes The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today issued a final rule establishing that over-the-counter (OTC) consumer antiseptic wash products containing certain active ingredients can no longer be marketed. Companies will no longer be able to market antibacterial washes with these ingredients because manufacturers did not...

Monterey Bay Aquarium Sustainable Foods Institute

August 18, 2016

Rolf Halden, Ph.D., Director, Biodesign Center for Environmental Security, to speak on a panel titled “Marine Plastics: What’s the Catch?” The Monterey Bay Aquarium Sustainable Foods Institute is a two-day, invitation-only event designed for a primary audience of national food and environment journalists. The institute convenes experts in diverse fields of fisheries, aquaculture, agriculture, food service, policy and academia to address critical emerging topics in...