Monthly Archives: April 2014

The problem with triclosan

 

The problem with triclosan, an explanation.

After posting an entry about triclosan the other day I have had several requests for more information about them. Most people were completely unaware of the hazard that existed in their own homes. By contrast Nano-Shield creates a physical barrier which is biostatic by nature and will not allow germs to thrive. There is no poison involved in the inhibition of the microbe, thus no lingering threat to humans or the environment.

In recent years, there has been a dramatic increase in the amount of products for household and professional use that are marketed as antibacterial or antimicrobial. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), it was estimated that there were already over 700 such products on the market in 2000 (1). Additionally, the Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics (APUA) cites a survey finding 76% of liquid soaps contain triclosan, a common antibacterial (2). Prior to allowing these products into our homes, we need to determine which ones are good and which ones are not by examining what they kill, how long the killing process lasts, and, most importantly, if they are safe.

What does it kill?

First things first, the difference between antibacterial and antimicrobial: a product that is an antibacterial only kills bacteria. It does nothing for viruses, algae, mold, and fungi. An antimicrobial, on the other hand, has the ability to kill or defend against all these organisms. There are also narrow- and broad-spectrum antimicrobials. Usually, the toxicity of the product increases as the spectrum of organisms killed broadens. Penicillin, for example, is considered a narrow-spectrum antibiotic (3). Ultimately, the best antimicrobial agent is going to depend on the task at hand and what present microbes need to be eliminated.

How long does it take?

It would probably be surprising for most people to learn that chlorine bleach requires 30 minutes of contact time to kill bacteria—and that’s direct contact time. This means if the surface is dirty, it must be cleaned prior to using the bleach as a disinfectant (4). That’s a long time for a chemical that can have harsh effects on humans to be sitting around. A disinfectant such as Lysol kills 99.9% of Staphylococcus aureus on hard, non-porous surfaces in 30 seconds, but requires 10 minutes to fully kill the nine viruses and six bacteria and fungi listed on the container. Some antimicrobials only kill 60% of bacteria, even after remaining on the surface for 24 hours. The Washington Toxics Coalition reports that, “all antimicrobials require a certain concentration and contact time to be effective.” Thus, any choice consumers make, short of using no disinfecting products, results in some length of chemical exposure with product sitting around.

How safe is it?

Antimicrobials have not been available on the market for a relatively long period of time, so safety becomes a primary concern. How will humans be affected? The environment? What are the side effects? At the moment, the controversy over whether these products are aiding in the development of superbugs resistant to antibiotics is a hot topic. Antibacterial agents that leave a residue and kill slowly, such as the triclosan so commonly found in hand soaps, are believed to factor into this scary trend. However, products that disinfect with bleach and alcohol (which do not leave a film) are not believed to contribute. Thus, the best product would be one that kills like bleach and alcohol products do: by destroying the cells rather than only killing off weaker bacteria and allowing the strongest bacteria to survive and adapt.

A trip down the cleaning aisle can prove daunting to anyone remotely concerned about his or her health and safety. Any container with the words ‘Caution’ or ‘Warning’ are considered a moderate hazard, whereas the words ‘Danger’ and ‘Poison’ appear on those products posing a significant threat (4). Most common household cleaning products list cautions including irritation of the eyes, skin, and respiratory system, as well as harmful effects if swallowed and the possibility of aggravating certain medical conditions.

Beyond the effect on humans, “the EPA has determined the average household in the USA, using common household products, is the #1 violator of chemical waste per capita” (5). The chemicals used in many disinfectants and antimicrobials on the market today can harm aquatic life and end up entering the food chain. Additionally, antimicrobials do not decipher between good and bad bacteria, so any present bacteria that is beneficial to humans and animals dies along with the bad. Are these risks worth it?

References:

  1. http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/eid/vol7no3_supp/levy.htm
  2. http://mansfield.osu.edu/~sabedon/biol2085.htm
  3. http://www.watoxics.org/files/antimicrobials.pdf

Mold as a threat to human health

Nano-Shield provides an invisible barrier to inhibit the growth of fungi (mold and mildew)

A guide to Mold from the EPA website.
Mold and mildew is now considered a greater threat than asbestos and is far more prevalent.
Nano-Shield is applied after the mold has been removed and creates a surface upon which new mold growth cannot occur. Its biostatic properties prevent the growth and proliferation of all types of microbes including mold, mildew, and bacteria. Nano-Shield is effective on hard surfaces such as brick, plaster, vinyl, etc. ,and soft surfaces such as fabrics as well. For an evaluation of your facility by an authorized Nano-Shield applicator call 855-687-0976.

Mold Resources
Introduction to Molds
Molds produce tiny spores to reproduce. Mold spores waft through the indoor and outdoor air continually. When mold spores land on a damp spot indoors, they may begin growing and digesting whatever they are growing on in order to survive. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, and foods. When excessive moisture or water accumulates indoors, mold growth will often occur, particularly if the moisture problem remains undiscovered or un-addressed. There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture.

Basic Mold Cleanup
The key to mold control is moisture control. It is important to dry water damaged areas and items within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth. If mold is a problem in your home, clean up the mold and get rid of the excess water or moisture. Fix leaky plumbing or other sources of water. Wash mold off hard surfaces with detergent and water, and dry completely. Absorbent materials (such as ceiling tiles & carpet) that become moldy may have to be replaced.

Ten Things You Should Know About Mold
1. Potential health effects and symptoms associated with mold exposures include allergic reactions, asthma, and other respiratory complaints.
2. There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture.
3. If mold is a problem in your home or school, you must clean up the mold and eliminate sources of moisture.
4. Fix the source of the water problem or leak to prevent mold growth.
5. Reduce indoor humidity (to 30-60%) to decrease mold growth by: venting bathrooms, dryers, and other moisture-generating sources to the outside; using air conditioners and de-humidifiers; increasing ventilation; and using exhaust fans whenever cooking, dishwashing, and cleaning.
6. Clean and dry any damp or wet building materials and furnishings within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.
7. Clean mold off hard surfaces with water and detergent, and dry completely. Absorbent materials such as ceiling tiles, that are moldy, may need to be replaced.
8. Prevent condensation: Reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces (i.e., windows, piping, exterior walls, roof, or floors) by adding insulation.
9. In areas where there is a perpetual moisture problem, do not install carpeting (i.e., by drinking fountains, by classroom sinks, or on concrete floors with leaks or frequent condensation).
10. Molds can be found almost anywhere; they can grow on virtually any substance, providing moisture is present. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, and foods.
If you have IAQ and mold issues in your school, you should get a copy of the IAQ Tools for Schools Action Kit. Mold is covered in the

Asthma and Mold
Molds can trigger asthma episodes in sensitive individuals with asthma. People with asthma should avoid contact with or exposure to molds. Read more about asthma triggers on EPA’s Asthma Website
Additional Asthma Resources:
• Allergy & Asthma Network/Mothers of Asthmatics (AAN/MA) (800) 878-4403
• American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) For information, see http://www.aaaai.org/global/contact-us.aspx
• American Lung Association (800) LUNG-USA (586-4872); See also http://www.lung.org/healthy-air/
• Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America (800) 7ASTHMA (727-8462)
• Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation “Fighting Mold – The Homeowner’s Guide”
• U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, National Institute of Health, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (866) 284-4107/(301) 496-5717
• National Jewish Medical and Research Center (800) 222-LUNG (5864)

How do molds affect people?
Some people are sensitive to molds. For these people, exposure to molds can cause symptoms such as nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, wheezing, or skin irritation. Some people, such as those with serious allergies to molds, may have more severe reactions. Severe reactions may occur among workers exposed to large amounts of molds in occupational settings, such as farmers working around moldy hay. Severe reactions may include fever and shortness of breath. Some people with chronic lung illnesses, such as obstructive lung disease, may develop mold infections in their lungs.
EPA’s publication, Indoor Air Pollution: An Introduction for Health Professionals, assists health professionals (especially the primary care physician) in diagnosis of patient symptoms that could be related to an indoor air pollution problem. It addresses the health problems that may be caused by contaminants encountered daily in the home and office. Organized according to pollutant or pollutant groups such as environmental tobacco smoke, VOCs, biological pollutants, and sick building syndrome, this booklet lists key signs and symptoms from exposure to these pollutants, provides a diagnostic checklist and quick reference summary, and includes suggestions for remedial action. Also includes references for information contained in each section. This booklet was developed by the American Lung Association, the American Medical Association, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, and the EPA, 1994.
Allergic Reactions – excerpted from Indoor Air Pollution: An Introduction for Health Professionals section on: Animal Dander, Molds, Dust Mites, Other Biologicals.
“A major concern associated with exposure to biological pollutants is allergic reactions, which range from rhinitis, nasal congestion, conjunctival inflammation, and urticaria to asthma. Notable triggers for these diseases are allergens derived from house dust mites; other arthropods, including cockroaches; pets (cats, dogs, birds, rodents); molds; and protein-containing furnishings, including feathers, kapok, etc. In occupational settings, more unusual allergens (e.g., bacterial enzymes, algae) have caused asthma epidemics. Probably most proteins of non-human origin can cause asthma in a subset of any appropriately exposed population.”

Damp Buildings and Health
For information on damp buildings and health effects, see the 2004 Institute of Medicine Report, Damp Indoor Spaces and Health, published by The National Academies Press in Washington, DC. You can read a description of the report and purchase a copy at http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11011

Homes and Molds
The EPA publication, “A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home”, is also available in PDF (English (PDF, 20 pp., 257 K) and Spanish (PDF, 20 pp., 796 K)). This Guide provides information and guidance for homeowners and renters on how to clean up residential mold problems and how to prevent mold growth.
Biological Pollutants in Your Home – This document explains indoor biological pollution, health effects of biological pollutants, and how to control their growth and buildup. One third to one half of all structures have damp conditions that may encourage development of pollutants such as molds and bacteria, which can cause allergic reactions — including asthma — and spread infectious diseases. Describes corrective measures for achieving moisture control and cleanliness. This brochure was prepared by the American Lung Association and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. The publication was updated by CPSC in 1997 http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/425.html

Moisture control is the key to mold control, the Moisture Control Section from Biological Pollutants in Your Home follows:
Moisture Control
Water in your home can come from many sources. Water can enter your home by leaking or by seeping through basement floors. Showers or even cooking can add moisture to the air in your home. The amount of moisture that the air in your home can hold depends on the temperature of the air. As the temperature goes down, the air is able to hold less moisture. This is why, in cold weather, moisture condenses on cold surfaces (for example, drops of water form on the inside of a window). This moisture can encourage biological pollutants to grow.
There are many ways to control moisture in your home:
• Fix leaks and seepage. If water is entering the house from the outside, your options range from simple landscaping to extensive excavation and waterproofing. (The ground should slope away from the house.) Water in the basement can result from the lack of gutters or a water flow toward the house. Water leaks in pipes or around tubs and sinks can provide a place for biological pollutants to grow.
• Put a plastic cover over dirt in crawlspaces to prevent moisture from coming in from the ground. Be sure crawlspaces are well-ventilated.
• Use exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens to remove moisture to the outside (not into the attic). Vent your clothes dryer to the outside.
• Turn off certain appliances (such as humidifiers or kerosene heaters) if you notice moisture on windows and other surfaces.
• Use dehumidifiers and air conditioners, especially in hot, humid climates, to reduce moisture in the air, but be sure that the appliances themselves don’t become sources of biological pollutants.
• Raise the temperature of cold surfaces where moisture condenses. Use insulation or storm windows. (A storm window installed on the inside works better than one installed on the outside.) Open doors between rooms (especially doors to closets which may be colder than the rooms) to increase circulation. Circulation carries heat to the cold surfaces. Increase air circulation by using fans and by moving furniture from wall corners to promote air and heat circulation. Be sure that your house has a source of fresh air and can expel excessive moisture from the home.
• Pay special attention to carpet on concrete floors. Carpet can absorb moisture and serve as a place for biological pollutants to grow. Use area rugs which can be taken up and washed often. In certain climates, if carpet is to be installed over a concrete floor, it may be necessary to use a vapor barrier (plastic sheeting) over the concrete and cover that with sub-flooring (insulation covered with plywood) to prevent a moisture problem.
• Moisture problems and their solutions differ from one climate to another. The Northeast is cold and wet; the Southwest is hot and dry; the South is hot and wet; and the Western Mountain states are cold and dry. All of these regions can have moisture problems. For example, evaporative coolers used in the Southwest can encourage the growth of biological pollutants. In other hot regions, the use of air conditioners which cool the air too quickly may prevent the air conditioners from running long enough to remove excess moisture from the air. The types of construction and weatherization for the different climates can lead to different problems and solutions.
Moisture On Windows
Your humidistat is set too high if excessive moisture collects on windows and other cold surfaces. Excess humidity for a prolonged time can damage walls especially when outdoor air temperatures are very low. Excess moisture condenses on window glass because the glass is cold. Other sources of excess moisture besides overuse of a humidifier may be long showers, running water for other uses, boiling or steaming in cooking, plants, and drying clothes indoors. A tight, energy efficient house holds more moisture inside; you may need to run a kitchen or bath ventilating fan sometimes, or open a window briefly. Storm windows and caulking around windows keep the interior glass warmer and reduce condensation of moisture there.
Humidifiers are not recommended for use in buildings without proper vapor barriers because of potential damage from moisture buildup. Consult a building contractor to determine the adequacy of the vapor barrier in your house. Use a humidity indicator to measure the relative humidity in your house. The American Society of Heating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) recommends these maximum indoor humidity levels.

Outdoor Recommended Indoor Temperature Relative Humidity
Temperature Outdoors Indoor Relative Humidity
+20o F. 35%
+10o F. 30%
0o F. 25%
-10o F. 20%
-20o F. 15%
Source: Anne Field, Extension Specialist, Emeritus, with reference from the Association for Home Appliance Manufacturers (www.aham.org ).

How to Identify the Cause of a Mold and Mildew Problem
Mold and mildew are commonly found on the exterior wall surfaces of corner rooms in heating climate locations. An exposed corner room is likely to be significantly colder than adjoining rooms, so that it has a higher relative humidity (RH) than other rooms at the same water vapor pressure. If mold and mildew growth are found in a corner room, then relative humidity next to the room surfaces is above 70%. However, is the RH above 70% at the surfaces because the room is too cold or because there is too much moisture present (high water vapor pressure)?
The amount of moisture in the room can be estimated by measuring both temperature and RH at the same location and at the same time. Suppose there are two cases. In the first case, assume that the RH is 30% and the temperature is 70oF in the middle of the room. The low RH at that temperature indicates that the water vapor pressure (or absolute humidity) is low. The high surface RH is probably due to room surfaces that are “too cold.” Temperature is the dominating factor, and control strategies should involve increasing the temperature at cold room surfaces.
In the second case, assume that the RH is 50% and the temperature is 70oF in the middle of the room. The higher RH at that temperature indicates that the water vapor pressure is high and there is a relatively large amount of moisture in the air. The high surface RH is probably due to air that is “too moist.” Humidity is the dominating factor, and control strategies should involve decreasing the moisture content of the indoor air.

Should You Have the Air Ducts in Your Home Cleaned? – excerpt on duct cleaning and mold follows, please review the entire document for additional information on duct cleaning and mold.
You should consider having the air ducts in your home cleaned if:
There is substantial visible mold growth inside hard surface (e.g., sheet metal) ducts or on other components of your heating and cooling system. There are several important points to understand concerning mold detection in heating and cooling systems:
• Many sections of your heating and cooling system may not be accessible for a visible inspection, so ask the service provider to show you any mold they say exists.
• You should be aware that although a substance may look like mold, a positive determination of whether it is mold or not can be made only by an expert and may require laboratory analysis for final confirmation. For about $50, some microbiology laboratories can tell you whether a sample sent to them on a clear strip of sticky household tape is mold or simply a substance that resembles it.
• If you have insulated air ducts and the insulation gets wet or moldy it cannot be effectively cleaned and should be removed and replaced.
• If the conditions causing the mold growth in the first place are not corrected, mold growth will recur.
Additional Resource
• U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service fact sheet – Safe Food Handling- Molds on Foods: Are They Dangerous? September 2005
• A Brief Guide to Mold in the Workplace, U.S. Dept. of Labor, Occupational, Safety and Health Administration, Safety and Health Bulletin 03-10-10

Indoor Air Regulations and Mold
Standards or Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) for airborne concentrations of mold, or mold spores, have not been set. Currently, there are no EPA regulations or standards for airborne mold contaminants.

How to Identify the Cause of a Mold and Mildew Problem.
Mold and mildew are commonly found on the exterior wall surfaces of corner rooms in heating climate locations. An exposed corner room is likely to be significantly colder than adjoining rooms, so that it has a higher relative humidity (RH) than other rooms at the same water vapor pressure. If mold and mildew growth are found in a corner room, then relative humidity next to the room surfaces is above 70%. However, is the RH above 70% at the surfaces because the room is too cold or because there is too much moisture present (high water vapor pressure)?
The amount of moisture in the room can be estimated by measuring both temperature and RH at the same location and at the same time. Suppose there are two cases. In the first case, assume that the RH is 30% and the temperature is 70oF in the middle of the room. The low RH at that temperature indicates that the water vapor pressure (or absolute humidity) is low. The high surface RH is probably due to room surfaces that are “too cold.” Temperature is the dominating factor, and control strategies should involve increasing the temperature at cold room surfaces.
In the second case, assume that the RH is 50% and the temperature is 70oF in the middle of the room. The higher RH at that temperature indicates that the water vapor pressure is high and there is a relatively large amount of moisture in the air. The high surface RH is probably due to air that is “too moist.” Humidity is the dominating factor, and control strategies should involve decreasing the moisture content of the indoor air.

Schools and Mold and Indoor Air Quality
The Agency’s premier resource on this issue is the Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools kit. Our schools-related resources on the web start at: http://www.epa.gov/iaq/schools.
The asthma companion piece for the IAQ Tools for Schools Action kit, is Managing Asthma in the School Environment – http://www.epa.gov/iaq/schools/managingasthma.html. This publication has a section entitled Clean Up Mold and Moisture Control: An excerpt follows:
Common Moisture Sources Found in Schools
Moisture problems in school buildings can be caused by a variety of conditions, including roof and plumbing leaks, condensation, and excess humidity. Some moisture problems in schools have been linked to changes in building construction practices during the past twenty to thirty years. These changes have resulted in more tightly sealed buildings that may not allow moisture to escape easily. Moisture problems in schools are also associated with delayed maintenance or insufficient maintenance, due to budget and other constraints. Temporary structures in schools, such as trailers and portable classrooms, have frequently been associated with moisture and mold problems.
Suggestions for Reducing Mold Growth in Schools
Reduce Indoor Humidity
• Vent showers and other moisture-generating sources to the outside.
• Control humidity levels and dampness by using air conditioners and de-humidifiers.
• Provide adequate ventilation to maintain indoor humidity levels between 30-60%.
• Use exhaust fans whenever cooking, dishwashing, and cleaning in food service areas.
Inspect the building for signs of mold, moisture, leaks, or spills
• Check for moldy odors.
• Look for water stains or discoloration on the ceiling, walls, floors, and window sills.
• Look around and under sinks for standing water, water stains, or mold.
• Inspect bathrooms for standing water, water stains, or mold.
• Do not let water stand in air conditioning or refrigerator drip pans.
Respond promptly when you see signs of moisture and/or mold, or when leaks or spills occur
• Clean and dry any damp or wet building materials and furnishings within 24-48 hours of occurrence to prevent mold growth.
• Fix the source of the water problem or leak to prevent mold growth.
• Clean mold off hard surfaces with water and detergent, and dry completely.
• Absorbent materials such as ceiling tiles, that are moldy, may need to be replaced.
• Check the mechanical room and roof for unsanitary conditions, leaks, or spills.

FDA gives Triclosan antibacterial 1 year repreive

Triclosan the antimicrobial found in nearly all household antibacterial products has been banned in the European Union for years. Over the past several decades numerous groups have sought to have their use restricted in the United States as well. As you will read in the article below, it’s use has proven detrimental to humans for a number of reasons. The chemical collects in the bodies (75% of those tested) of humans causing hormone imbalances as well as in the environment wreaking havoc on animal species. Additionally it’s widespread improper use is actually promoting the spread of antimicrobial resistant superbugs.
Nano-Shield is non leaching, meaning that once it is applied it doesn’t migrate from the surface it was installed on. It does not enter humans or the environment where it could cause harm. Additionally, because its mode of action is mechanical, meaning it doesn’t use poison to kill microbes, it poses no chance of creating superbugs; there is no way they can mutate in such a way as to become immune.
Nano-Shield represents the next generation of “green” antimicrobials which Dr. Halden describes at the end of this article.
Does the widespread and still proliferating use of antimicrobial household products cause more harm than good to consumers and the environment? Evidence compiled in a new feature article published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology by Arizona State University professor Rolf Halden shows that decades of widespread use of antimicrobials has left consumers with no measurable benefits.
Worse yet, lax regulation has caused widespread contamination of the environment, wildlife and human populations with compounds that appear more toxic than safe, according to recent scientific research.
After 40 years of unfinished business, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has revisited the issue regarding the safety of some of the most common antibacterial additives of household products, chemicals called triclocarban (TCC) and triclosan (TCS), used in soaps and toothpaste.
“It’s a big deal that the FDA is taking this on,” said Rolf Halden, who has been tracking the issue for years. Halden is the director of the Center for Environmental Security, a joint research hub created with support from Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute, Fulton Schools of Engineering and the Security and Defense Systems Initiative.
The FDA has given soap manufacturers one year to demonstrate that the substances are safe or to take them out of the products altogether. The FDA rule is open for public comment until June.
“The FDA’s move is a prudent and important step toward preserving the efficacy of clinically important antibiotics, preventing unnecessary exposure of the general population to endocrine disrupting and potentially harmful chemicals, and throttling back the increasing release and accumulation of antimicrobials in the environment,” said Halden.
TCC and TCS were first introduced into the market in 1957 and 1964, respectively.
“This multi-billion dollar market has saturated supermarkets worldwide and vastly accelerated the consumption of antimicrobial products,” wrote Halden in the ES&T paper. “Today, TCC and more so TCS can be found in soaps, detergents, clothing, carpets, paints, plastics, toys, school supplies, and even in pacifiers, with over 2,000 antimicrobial products available.”
Antimicrobial soaps are very effective if used properly in health care settings. However, in households they don’t work because hardly anyone uses them as originally intended. To be effective, public health officials recommend scrubbing your hands with the soap to a verse of “Row, row, row your boat” for about 20-30 seconds.
In reality, Halden says, consumers use antimicrobials in hand soap for far too short a period of time, 6 seconds on average. This pattern of use voids any potential health benefits but allow TCC and TCS to contaminate the environment and expose wildlife for a lifetime and multiple generations.
Using modern research technology and more sophisticated detection methods pioneered by his lab team, Halden has examined both the human health and environmental consequences of the widespread use of antimicrobials. His research has added to the growing worldwide scientific evidence of TCC and TCS collateral damage, including:
• TCC and TCS are the most abundant drugs in wastewater treatment plant sludge (60 percent of the mass of all drugs detectable in sewage sludge);
• TCC and TCS do not degrade easily and have persisted for more than 50 years in U.S. sediments;
• TCC and TCS contaminate lakes and rivers, exerting lifetime exposure to aquatic organisms, with endocrine disruptive and immunotoxic effects;
• Approximately 310,000 lbs/yr of TCC and 125,000 lbs/yr of TCS are applied inadvertently on U.S. agricultural land as a result of sewage sludge disposal, presenting a pathway for contamination of food with antimicrobials and drug resistant microbes;
• Traces of toxic dioxin are present in commercial grade TCS and additional dioxins are known to form upon disposal down the drain and during sludge incineration.
And that’s just the environmental and wildlife consequences. Among the human health risks are promoting the development of drug-resistant infections and altering hormone levels in developing children, possibly leading to the early onset of puberty.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has found the chemicals in the urine of three-quarters of Americans, and an industry-funded study detected TCS in the breast milk of 97 percent of U.S. women tested.
In the U.S., regulating TCS and TCC has been challenging. In 1974, a single umbrella guidance document, called the topical antimicrobial drug products Over-the-Counter (OTC) Drug Monograph of the FDA, attempted to regulate all uses and best practices.
And yet, 2014 marks the 40th anniversary of the OTC FDA issuance, with this piece of federal legislation still not being finalized to protect consumers from ill effects of TCC and TCS.
Halden points out that ultimately, innovation holds the key toward solving the current worldwide antimicrobial issues. He envisions a more sustainable future with ‘green’ next-generation antimicrobials on the horizon that offer broad-spectrum effectiveness against pathogens but possess low toxicity and potential for fostering antimicrobial drug resistance; they also will degrade rapidly in wastewater treatment plants, thus limiting unwanted exposure and contamination of the environment following use.
With a multi-billion dollar market potential, next-generation compounds should be a highly competitive industry and the source of new jobs to fuel the ‘green economy.’
“Sustainability considerations already are informing the design of green pharmaceuticals and adopting this approach for antimicrobials promises to yield important benefits to people and the planet,” he concludes in the ES&Tpaper

Restaurant menus germier than toilet seats.

Restaurants present a significant target market for Nano-Shield antimicrobial treatments. Our durable, long lasting antimicrobial treatment will keep surfaces protected from microbes for up to 90 days.
Although the public health benefits are obvious, the savvy restaurateur can leverage the fact that his business is taking the initiative to protect patrons in order to build goodwill and customer loyalty. This demonstration of concern will give a competitive advantage to the businesses who take advantage of it.
When approaching restaurants to market our durable antimicrobial treatments, it is important to inform them that you will be providing promotional material which lets the public know that they are being protected from microbial threats. Displayable certificates, and menu stickers are two common tools that proprietors can use to their customers know they are protected.

menu QR code

Several cross contamination vectors are a natural fit to protect the health of customers.
Restaurant menus may harbor more germs and bacteria than any other surface in foodservice locations. According to studies, menus can have bacteria counts as high as 185,000 per square centimeter-far more than a toilet seat.

The reason: Scores of people touch restaurant menus and yet they are rarely cleaned.
Of course, people don’t get sick every time they touch a menu. But if the infectious dose is high enough, or the person touching the menu is a young child or has a compromised immune system, the likelihood can be significant.

The following are other so-called germ-centers in restaurants.
Seats: Seats are one of the germiest spots in a restaurant. “They are rarely cleaned, and when they are, they are often quickly wiped down using a soiled towel,”

Ketchup bottles: Scores of people touch these, and they are rarely wiped down with an antibiotic cleaner.

Floors: We have as many as 50 direct and indirect contacts with floors every day. In a restaurant, floors can get heavily soiled and become the source of cross contamination.
*Sources: Dr. Aileen Marty, Department of Infectious Disease at Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine; Dr. Kelly Reynolds, Associate Professor, University of Arizona College of Public Health, Tucson