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November 21, 2012
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Letter to the Editor: Don't fold to corporate fear-mongering

Your 11/7 edition contained an "article" - "Office products are a defense against germs" - recommending the use of office products infused with antimicrobial additives.

This "article" is really an advertisement for a local business, and should have been presented as such. But of far greater concern is the nature of the products being promoted.

Most products that claim antibacterial properties are infused with a chemical called triclosan, which also goes by several trade names, including "Microban." Triclosan was originally developed for use in hospitals; however, its developers have capitalized on and inflamed the public's fear of germs, and triclosan is now an ingredient in hundreds of consumer products.

Triclosan is a known endocrine disruptor and a suspected carcinogen. It accumulates in your fat, and has been detected in human breast milk, blood and urine. Animal studies have shown that it alters hormone regulation, and can hinder muscle contractions (your heart is a muscle).

It is linked to developmental and reproductive problems. In the environment, triclosan breaks down in to chloroform and dioxins - and lots of triclosan is entering the environment through consumer products. In addition, the excessive use of antimicrobials such as triclosan is linked to the development of resistant bacteria. To top it all off, extensive studies have shown no significant health benefits from the use of triclosan.

Many countries have banned or are considering a ban on triclosan, at least in consumer products. The FDA is considering this now. Triclosan may have a legitimate use in the clinical setting - although other less dangerous antimicrobials are readily available. But there is no reason whatsoever for it to be present in consumer products, other than corporate profits.

Please carefully consider the use of products containing this dangerous chemical, and don't allow yourself to fall victim to corporate fear-mongering.

Lore' McLaren


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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Nov 21, 2012 11:19AM Published Nov 21, 2012 11:18AM Copyright 2012 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.