Antimicrobials | Six Classes 2017 videos

Antimicrobials | Six Classes 2017 videos


Welcome, I’d like to tell you about antimicrobials
and ask: are they helping us or are they harming us? Antimicrobials
are a class of chemicals that are supposed to kill microorganisms or inhibit their growth. They are one of the six classes, or families,
that contain many of the chemicals of concern found in consumer products and building materials. Antimicrobials might sound like a good idea,
but they’re often unnecessary and can do more harm than good. They can hurt beneficial organisms and other
living things. Nonetheless, antimicrobials are added to thousands
of products including: personal care products, hand soaps, paints, exercise mats, flooring,
apparel, food storage containers, home textiles, keypads and keyboards, kitchenware, school
supplies, and countertops. Two antimicrobials of concern are triclosan
and triclocarban. For years, triclosan was used in liquid soaps
and triclocarban in bar soaps; but these antimicrobials provide no benefit over plain soap and water. Triclosan can disrupt hormone functioning
and may cause adverse reproductive and developmental effects. Other health concerns are increases in allergen
sensitivity and antibiotic resistance. Antimicrobials can end up in places where
they don’t belong like water, food, and nearly all breast milk samples tested. Triclosan and triclocarban are toxic to algae,
crustaceans, and fish. They are not completely removed by wastewater
treatment and persistent sludge that may be applied to agricultural soil. Triclosan has been found in three quarters
of the U.S. population. In 2016, after 42 years of study, the FDA
was finally able to stop the use of triclosan and other antimicrobials in hand soaps and
body washes. However, triclosan is still added to a variety
of building materials and consumer products. And other unnecessary antimicrobials are also
being used such as quaternary ammonium compounds or, quats, now found in many personal care
products. Another example is nanosilver added to a range
of products where no benefits are proven. The safety of these antimicrobials has not
been demonstrated. That’s why we need the six classes approach
to stop replacing one hazardous chemical with another. So what can you do? Don’t use products identified as antibacterial,
antimicrobial, or anti-odor. Read ingredient labels. Avoid products containing triclosan and triclocarban. Look out for replacement antimicrobials–
they are unnecessary and may also be problematic. When possible, ask for products without antimicrobials. At sixclasses.org you can learn more about
antimicrobials and the other five classes, as well as view the entire video series. Brought to you by Green Science Policy Institute. Please share these videos for healthier products,
people, and planet.

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