ACI fights back over latest Triclosan study

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Science

The American Cleaning Institute (ACI) has lashed back over media reports concerning a new study suggesting exposure to Triclosan can cause muscle paralysis.

The organization, which represents the interests of manufacturers and suppliers of anti-bacterial products, said that media reports and analysis of the study ‘distorted the real world safety and everyday use of the antibacterial ingredient triclosan based on comparisons to overdosed test subjects.’

The criticism was also turned on the researchers, with ACI stating its ‘disappointment’ in the way the study had been publicized, further stressing that the research paper veered towards advocacy and was not balanced.

“Antibacterial products containing the germ-killing ingredient triclosan remain safe and effective for everyday use,”​ said Richard Sedlak, ACI executive vice president, Technical & International Affairs.

Study showed reduced muscle and heart movement

Test tube experiments carried out at the universities of California and Colorado on laboratory animals showed reduced physical function, tests on isolated heart and skeletal muscle showed impaired muscle contractions at a cellular level and experiments on fish showed reduced mobility.

The experiments were carried out as a joint research project and the results were published online in the peer reviewed Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States.  

Racing to the defence of Triclosan, the ACI reiterated comments that the antibacterial agent is on the most thoroughly studied and research ingredients of recent years, and underlined the fact that it has been deemed safe by the US Food and Drug Administration.

European Commission and USFDA deemed Triclosan safe

It also drew attention to the fact that in 2011 the European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety found that a maximum 0.3 percent dosage in personal care products such as deodorants, toothpastes and handsoaps was considered safe.

“In this current study, essentially the authors sampled the test subjects (mice and fish) at levels that the test subjects would never be subjected to in the real world, let alone human beings,”​ said Sedlak.

“These products and ingredients have stood the test of time through extensive research and testing. It’s unfortunate that attempts are made to distort real world use of products and ingredients that contribute to better health.”

Related topics: Formulation & Science

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