News & Events

Pregnant women, fetuses exposed to antibacterial compounds face potential health risks

August 11, 2014

As the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mulls over whether to rein in the use of common antibacterial compounds that are causing growing concern among environmental health experts, a team of scientists led by Arizona State University Biodesign Institute researchers are now reporting that many pregnant women and their fetuses are being exposed to these substances. "We looked at the exposure of pregnant women and their fetuses to triclosan and triclocarban, two of the most commonly used...

Scientific evidence shows need to regulate antimicrobial ingredients in consumer products

April 1, 2014

  Does the widespread and still proliferating use of antimicrobial household products cause more harm than good to consumers and the environment? Evidence compiled in a new feature article published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology by Arizona State University professor Rolf Halden shows that decades of widespread use of antimicrobials has left consumers with no measurable benefits. Worse yet, lax regulation has caused widespread contamination of the...

Sludge as new sentinel for human health risks

January 16, 2014

Thousands of chemicals serving a variety of human needs flood into sewage treatment plants once their use life has ended. Many belong to a class of chemicals known as CECs (for chemicals of emerging concern), which may pose risks to both human and environmental health.  Arjun Venkatesan, a recent doctorate and Rolf Halden, professor and director of the Center for Environmental Security at Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute, have carried out meticulous tracking of many of...

Burning Question: Is it OK to Heat Food in Plastic?

April 24, 2013

Lunch at your desk can be a downer, especially when it involves leftovers reheated in the office microwave. But are you putting more into your body than just lukewarm pad thai? Rolf Halden, the director for the Center for Environmental Security at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University, stirs the pot. "We don't know if and how many people die from plastic exposure," says Dr. Halden, "but we do know that in the developed world we suffer from a lot of diseases—breast cancer,...

What are you drinking?

November 30, 2012

When people think about water contamination, images of oil spills or gunk spurting out of a kitchen faucet might jump to mind. But contaminants in our water are often undetectable to the naked eye. Researchers at Arizona State University are working to identify these unseen contaminants and to measure their effects on human and environmental health. Some of those unnoticed pollutants are directly linked to consumer practices. Chemicals in the products we use often end up in the water...

ASU appoints Professor Rolf Halden as director of new Center for Environmental Security

November 7, 2012

Arizona State University Press Release  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  ASU appoints Professor Rolf Halden as director of new Center for Environmental Security   Joint Biodesign Institute, Security & Defense Systems Initiative effort in “Managing Environmental Stress to Improve Human Health” Tempe, Ariz. – Nov. 7, 2012 ASU Professor Rolf Halden has been appointed to lead a new effort to protect human health and critical ecosystems, called the Center for...

Antimicrobials from personal care products found in rivers, lakes

August 14, 2012

Highlights First statewide U.S. survey finds antimicrobial compounds present in sediments of Minnesota’s rivers, creeks and lakes Personal care product active ingredients triclosan (TCS) and triclocarban (TCC) detected in all samples taken upstream and downstream of wastewater treatment plants Among the two known endocrine disruptors monitored, triclocarban was more abundant than triclosan Study adds to body of scientific work calling into question the widespread use of...

Researchers Find Evidence of Banned Antibiotics in Poultry Products

April 5, 2012

– Analysis of Feather Meal Suggests Continued Use of Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics Despite 2005 FDA Ban In a joint study, researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Arizona State University found evidence suggesting that a class of antibiotics previously banned by the U.S. government for poultry production is still in use. Results of the study were published March 21 in Environmental Science & Technology. The study, conducted by the Bloomberg School's...

Following a trail of blood: a new diagnostic tool comes of age

February 14, 2012

Blood tests have been a mainstay of diagnostic medicine since the late 19th century, offering a wealth of information concerning health and disease. Nevertheless, blood-derived from the human umbilical cord has yet to be fully mined for its vital health information, according to Rolf Halden, a researcher at Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute. In a new study appearing in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, Halden’s team performs detailed analyses of...

Troubled Waters: new device brings flexibility, precision to contamination measurement

November 8, 2011

Lake Apopka—Florida’s third largest—was once a haven for migratory birds, vacationers and fishermen. Today it is a toxic broth of chemicals and ranks among America’s more disturbing Superfund sites. Here, Rolf Halden and his colleagues from the Biodesign Institute® at Arizona State University and collaborator Nancy Denslow at the University of Florida, Gainesville, are testing a new device, designed to measure contaminants with unprecedented precision, accuracy and...