Ciba defends use of antibacterial triclosan in soaps

11 June 2008 17:43  [Source: ICIS news]

By Anna Jagger


LONDON (ICIS news)--Ciba defended the use of the antibacterial agent triclosan in soaps on Wednesday by refuting claims that it can cause endocrine disruption in bullfrog tadpoles.


Research commissioned by Ciba and conducted by Fort Environmental Laboratories in the US suggests that triclosan does not alter the normal course of thyroid-mediated metamorphosis in the tadpoles at environmentally relevant concentrations.


The study was presented last month at the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) meeting in Warsaw.


Ciba commissioned the study after scientists from the University of Victoria and the Pacific Environmental Science Centre, both in Canada, found that exposing tadpoles to levels of triclosan commonly found in the environment could cause endocrine disruption.


Their results were published in ‘Aquatic Toxicology’ in 2006.


Klaus Nussbaum, head of Ciba’s hygiene business, argued that the conditions under which the Canadian research was conducted were exaggerated, and therefore not representative.


It caused a lot of concern about the use of triclosan, said Nussbaum, adding: “Now we have enough data to support the molecule.”


Ciba conducted its research as part of a strategy to be more pro-active in its support of triclosan, he explained, adding that in the past the company had been too cautious in the way it defended the product.


Triclosan, a phenoxyphenol antimicrobial, is one of the most prevalent biocide ingredients in consumer liquid hand soaps.


Ciba is the main triclosan manufacturer, although there are also some producers in Asia.


For more analysis and insight on soaps and detergents, look for the 23 June issue of ICIS Chemical Business magazine  

By: Anna Jagger
+44 20 8652 3214

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