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U of Minn. study finds rising levels of dioxins from common soap ingredient in Mississippi River
Date:5/18/2010

n't exist in Lake Pepin before triclosan was introduced," Arnold said. "In the most current sediments, these triclosan-derived dioxins account for about 30 percent of the total dioxin mass."

Triclosan was first added to commercial liquid hand soap in 1987, and by 2001 about 76 percent of commercial liquid hand soaps contained it, researchers say. About 96 percent of triclosan from consumer products is disposed of in residential drains, leading to large loads of the chemical in water entering wastewater treatment plants.

Triclosan is incompletely removed during the wastewater treatment process, and when treated wastewater is released to the environment, sunlight converts some of the triclosan (and related compounds) into dioxins. Triclosan and the dioxins ended up in Lake Pepin sediments by sticking to organic particles in the river, which then sank when they reached the calmer waters of the lake.

The toxicity of the dioxins derived from triclosan currently is not well understood, nor is the extent of their distribution in the environment at large, Arnold says.


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Contact: Ryan Maus
maus@umn.edu
612-624-1690
University of Minnesota
Source:Eurekalert  

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