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Posted Fri Nov 12 2010: from Environmental Health News:
Antimicrobials murderous in nature
When released into waterways from wastewater treatment plants, the antimicrobial triclosan continues to do what it was designed to do -- kill bacteria -- and starts doing what it was not designed to do -- interfere with photosynthesis in algae. The results from a study in Spain suggest that triclosan carries a high environmental risk and warrants concern about its presence in waterways. The findings agree with prior studies that find the antimicrobial is toxic to bacteria at levels measured in water. However, this is one of just a few published studies to report that triclosan can reduce photosynthesis in a type of algae known as diatoms. Through photosynthesis, diatoms produce oxygen and food that other aquatic organisms rely upon. It is estimated that 80 percent of the oxygen in our atmosphere comes from diatoms, making these microscopic organisms essential for life on earth. Triclosan is an anti-microbial chemical widely used in personal care products, like toothpaste and anti-bacterial hand soap. It is added to cleaning products and is applied to many items, including clothing, toys, shower curtains and kitchenware.
[Read more stories about: climate impacts, contamination, ecosystem interrelationships, toxic water, unintended consequences]

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Die, diatoms, die!

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