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Antibiotics from toothpaste turn up in breast milk

Six national Swedish agencies called for a ban on the “unnecessary use” of antibiotics in toiletries, cosmetics and household cleaners and implements (e.g. kitchen cutting boards). The call came after traces of the antibiotic (or ‘biocide’) Triclosan, which is commonly used in toothpastes, turned up in breast milk.

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Scientists are concerned that Triclosan is very persistent and can accumulate in the environment, where it has been found in fish. They note that it has already been shown to inhibit the human enzyme ENR, which helps the body synthesise fatty acids, and are concerned it could develop further antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

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References

(7389) Environmental Data Services