A toxic chemical used in hand soaps, cleaners and other personal care products to kill germs is deposited and remains in the environment long after the products are used, according to researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The chemical—3,4,4-trichlorocarbanilide (triclocarban), marketed under the trademark TCC™—is a non-agricultural polychlorinated phenyl urea pesticide that has been widely used for decades to kill bacteria. The researchers were among the first to detect concentrations of triclocarban in rivers and influent of wastewater treatment facilities. In some instances, they detected concentrations of triclocarban in waterways at levels 20-fold higher than previously reported. The study furnishes the first peer-reviewed environmental data of triclocarban contamination in U.S. water resources. It is published in the online edition of Environmental Science & Technology.
“Our study shows that environmental contamination with triclocarban is widespread but greatly underreported because conventional monitoring techniques cannot detect it,” said the study’s lead author Rolf U. Halden, PhD, PE, assistant professor of the School’s Department of Environmental Health Sciences and founding member of its Center for Water and Health. “We had to specifically develop a new method, termed liquid chromatography electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (LC/ESI/MS), to detect triclocarban in water. Using this new method, we found the disinfectant in all Maryland streams we examined. Now the big question is what are the ecological and human health consequences of triclocarban in the environment? From the chemical structure, one would expect the compound to concentrate in fish and bio-accumulate in the food chain, but at this point we can only speculate,” said Dr. Halden. He added that more research is needed to determine whether the environmental contamination discovered translates into human exposure and any corresponding long-term risks.
Prior to Dr. Halden’s research, the most recent data on the fate of triclocarban in wastewater were from 1975, and no peer-reviewed studies were conducted on the occurrence of the chemical in U.S. water resources. Dr. Halden and his summer research intern, Daniel H. Paull, now a graduate student in the Chemistry department at Johns Hopkins University, analyzed water samples taken from rivers in and around Baltimore, Md., as well as from local water filtration and wastewater treatment plants.
Kenna Lowe | EurekAlert!
Global threat to primates concerns us all
19.01.2017 | Deutsches Primatenzentrum GmbH - Leibniz-Institut für Primatenforschung
Reducing household waste with less energy
18.01.2017 | FIZ Karlsruhe – Leibniz-Institut für Informationsinfrastruktur GmbH
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
20.01.2017 | Awards Funding
20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.01.2017 | Life Sciences