A study popped into my in-box a few minutes ago from the University of Florida Health Science Center: Antibacterial Agent Could Cause Pregnancy Problems.
I’ll give you the quick and dirty summary. Researchers think that triclosan interferes with estrogen sulfotransferase, an enzyme that is linked to the metabolism of estrogen. Estrogen that’s supposed to move through the placenta and help the baby grow. Estrogen that plays a “crucial” role in brain development and the regulation of genes, and helps regulate the amount of oxygen that gets through to the developing fetus.
From the report: “We suspect that makes this substance dangerous in pregnancy if enough of the triclosan gets through to the placenta to affect the enzyme,” said James, a professor and chairwoman of medicinal chemistry in the UF College of Pharmacy. “We know for sure it is a very potent inhibitor. What we don’t know is the kinds of levels you would have to be exposed to to see a negative effect. We know it is a problem, but we don’t know how much of a problem. We need to move forward and do additional studies.”
And the Food and Drug Administration’s response? You know, the FDA that in April said it would be taking another look at triclosan. (Even as other countries and entire continents ban the chemical. The European Union, for example, put a complete ban on Triclosan — anything that might come in contact with food — that goes into effect as of 2011.) Crickets, baby. Crickets. Not a word. Even after earlier this year the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) said it was suing the FDA.
For more than a year I have reported on almost every single triclosan-related event. Every new study. Every annoying fact and figure. And we’re still in a holding pattern. Yeah, I know there are far more important things going on now, but it’s TIME that we step up and contact our FDA and tell them how we feel. How do I feel? It’s time to join the rest of the world and make it impossible for triclosan to cross a placenta. We need our government to protect us. Now! Not sure why? Read one of my first blog posts to learn more.
Want to get involved? You can contact the FDA directly. Check out this link for phone and email info. You should also contact your local congressperson. Here’s a link where you input your state and Zip code. We are the only ones who can affect change. Remember, the chemical lobby spends MILLIONS every year to keep things the way they are. But WE are the ones who vote people in or out of office. We do have power. We do.