Chemical Ingredients in Antibacterial Soaps can put Fetuses at Risk

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

image of liquid soap
Pregnant women and fetuses exposed to antibacterial compounds face potential health risks.

As the Food and Drug Administration mulls over whether to rein in the use of common antibacterial compounds that are causing growing concern among environmental health experts, scientists are reporting that many pregnant women and their fetuses are being exposed to these substances. The compounds are used in more than 2,000 everyday products marketed as antimicrobial, including toothpastes, soaps, detergents, carpets, paints, school supplies and toys, the researchers say. Pregnant women and fetuses that are exposed to triclosan and triclocarban — two common ingredients found in antibacterial soap — could face health risks.

Sources and More Information:

  • Pregnant women and fetuses exposed to antibacterial compounds face potential health risks, ACS, August 10, 2014.
  • Human fetal exposure to triclosan and triclocarban in an urban population from brooklyn, new york, NCBI PMID: 24971846, 2014 Aug 5.
  • Germ-killing chemicals common in pregnant women, newborns, Environmental Health News, August 10, 2014.
  • FDA examining antibacterial soaps, body washes, CNN, December 17, 2013.
  • FDA issues proposed rule to determine safety and effectiveness of antibacterial soaps, FDA, Dec. 16, 2013.

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