Antibacterial Chemical Disrupts Hormone Activities

Posted on December 9, 2007  Comments (0)

Antibacterial Chemical Disrupts Hormone Activities:

A new UC Davis study shows that a common antibacterial chemical added to bath soaps can alter hormonal activity in rats and in human cells in the laboratory — and does so by a previously unreported mechanism.

The findings come as an increasing number of studies — of both lab animals and humans — are revealing that some synthetic chemicals in household products can cause health problems by interfering with normal hormone action. Called endocrine disruptors, or endocrine disrupting substances (EDS), such chemicals have been linked in animal studies to a variety of problems, including cancer, reproductive failure and developmental anomalies.

The researchers found two key effects: In human cells in the laboratory, triclocarban increased gene expression that is normally regulated by testosterone. And when male rats were fed triclocarban, testosterone-dependent organs such as the prostate gland grew abnormally large. Also, the authors said their discovery that triclocarban increased hormone effects was new. All previous studies of endocrine disruptors had found that they generally act by blocking or decreasing hormone effects.

In their disclosure statement, the authors report that six of them have taken steps to patent their findings through the University of California.

Research paper Triclocarban enhances testosterone action: A new type of endocrine disruptor?.

Related: Killing Germs May Be Hazardous to Your HealthAntibacterial Soaps are BadAntibacterial Products May Do More Harm Than GoodFlushed Drugs Pollute Water

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