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Anti-bacterial additive widespread in U.S. waterways

n 60 percent of the U.S. water resources investigated, thereby making it the fifth most frequent contaminant among 96 pharmaceuticals, personal care products and organic wastewater contaminants evaluated. To determine the validity of the analysis, the researchers compared their predicted nationwide levels of contamination to experimentally measured concentrations in the Greater Baltimore region, and found no statistically significant differences. The results also show that the levels of triclocarban in water resources nationwide are much higher than previously thought. In surface water from the Baltimore region, the researchers detected triclocarban at concentrations of up to 6.75 micrograms per liter (parts-per-billion). This maximum concentration was 28 fold higher than previously reported levels, which are currently used by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for evaluation of the ecological and human health risks of triclocarban. "Along with its chemical cousin triclosan, the antimicrobial compound triclocarban should be added to the list of polychlorinated organic compounds that deserve our attention due to unfavorable environmental characteristics, which include long term persistence and potential bioaccumulation. Triclocarban, for example, has an estimated half life of 1.5 years in aquatic sediments. Do the potential benefits of antimicrobial products outweigh their known environmental and human health risks? This is a scientifically complex question consumers, knowingly or unknowingly, answer to everyday in the checkout line of the grocery store," said Dr. Halden.
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Source:Eurekalert


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