Triclosan has long been touted of common household products. Significant amounts can now be found in everyday items such as soaps, toothpastes and cutting boards. It is estimated that, for every 3kg of antibiotics produced, about 1kg of triclosan is manufactured. that, in the USA, it can be detected in the urine, blood and nasal secretions people. It has even been found in breast milk. Not surprisingly, it is also present in US soil and water. Since many products containing FT290 as an antibacterial agent able to improve the safety It has been used so widely of a significant proportion of 10 AUGUST 2017 DEBATE this ‘antibacterial agent’ are sold here, it is very likely to be present in New Zealanders and the New Zealand environment. Antibacterial agents like triclosan can be beneficial in some circumstances. For example, very sick patients in hospitals are vulnerable to infection because their normal defences are not working properly. The addition of triclosan to medical devices like catheters reduces their risk of infection. Triclosan is also added to Colgate Total. According to the Federal Drug Agency (FDA) of United States, Colgate Total has also been shown to be effective in preventing gingivitis or inflammation of the gums. By contrast, triclosan exposure provides little advantage for healthy people…quite the opposite. Triclosan selects for resistant bacteria and is helping drive up the number of multi-resistant pathogens with the potential to cause untreatable infections. When it was first introduced it was argued that, because it targeted a different pathway from antibiotics, triclosan would not promote antibiotic resistance. However, there is now a lot of evidence to show that this is not correct. For example, bacteria can enhance their resistance to triclosan by pumping it out of their cells as soon as it enters. Mutants able to do this are selected after exposure to triclosan. These triclosan-resistant bacteria are also able to pump antibiotics out of their cells rapidly so are more resistant to these antibiotics. In addition, triclosan can disrupt normal hormone and muscle function, and may even increase the risk of cancer. These findings have finally prompted the FDA to ban the use of triclosan as an antibacterial agent in household products in the USA from next month. Its use is already restricted in Europe and Canada. I believe that New Zealand should also ban the addition of triclosan to common household products. DENTAL Triclosan has caused a media storm since its presence was identified in Colgate Total toothpaste last month. Massey University School of Food and Nutrition Associate Professor Mary Nulsen applauds the US ban of the antibacterial agent and encourages New Zealand to do the same. MY SAY FT356 IMPROVE YOUR WORKPLACE HYGIENE WITH 5S SYSTEMS By implementing a 5S Strategy in your environment as part of a continuous improvement programme, you can help maximise productivity, minimise cross contamination and create an efficient work space. 5S ideology has been around for years and it is as simple as Sort, Set In Order, Shine, Standardise and Sustain. There are numerous ways you can maintain order in critical areas simply by installing wall brackets to keep cleaning equipment away from the floor and enable them to dry, or in a higher demand location, create fully customised Shadow Boards that give immediate identification of colour-coded areas, stock in use and also ensure that items are stored securely and correctly. Wells Hygiene can assist with these matters and many more, so please contact us to arrange a site inspection or just for a chat (09) 263 9332 or 02 0835 7477.
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