Antimicrobial Exposure of Expectant Mothers

Jul 24, 2014

Liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC–MS) analysis has been performed on urine and cord blood samples from expectant mothers to explore the exposure to the antimicrobial agents triclosan (TCS) and tricarban (TCC). The agents have received increasing attention over recent years, with concerns being raised over lack of efficacy and potential toxicity to the environment, as well as human health.

TCC and TCS have been added to a range of products, from toothpaste to medical plastics, and so are now widely found throughout the population of the USA. According to the study published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, the US FDA is to evaluate set guidelines later this year in response to concerns raised by the scientific community over their advertised antimicrobial properties.1

Urine samples were collected from 181 expectant women in Brooklyn in the USA between their 6th and 9th month of pregnancy over a period from October 2007 to December 2009. LC–MS was performed to analyze the samples. Excreted TCC was detected in more than 80% of the urine samples at low levels, TCS was found in all urine samples. TCC was detected in 8 cord-blood samples and TCS in 16 cord-blood samples. — B.D.

1. B. Pycke, L.A. Geer, M. Dalloul, O. Abulafia, A. Jenck, and R.U. Halden, Environmental Science & Technology DOI: 10.1021/es501100w (2014).

This story originally appeared in The Column. Click here to view that issue.