Credit: © Olga / Fotolia

Credit: © Olga / Fotolia

Chemicals in soaps and lotions may cause irreversible problems in infants

Chemicals in soaps and lotions may cause irreversible problems in infants, according to research from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

The researchers discovered that exposure to triclocarban (TCC), an antibacterial chemical found in personal care products may spread from mother to child and cause problems with lipid metabolism.

Our results are significant because of the potential risk of exposure to TCC through contaminated water sources and in the living environment, and the potential adverse effects resulting from this exposure during development,” said LLNL biologist Heather Enright, the lead author of the paper. “Early life exposure to TCC has the potential to cause irreversible outcomes due to the fragile nature of organ systems and protective mechanisms in developing offspring.”

The team studied mice during gestation and lactation to see if TCC would spread from mother to child.

The press release explained the study methods and scientific details:

Researchers administered TCC laced with carbon-14 to trace how the contaminant distributed in organ systems of female mice and exposed offspring.

Using accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS), Enright and her colleagues quantified TCC concentrations in offspring and their mothers after exposure. AMS fills a special niche in the biomedical field because it can measure very low concentrations of compounds with extreme accuracy and track bio-distribution and excretion over long periods of time.

We demonstrated that TCC does effectively transfer from mother to offspring, both trans-placentally and via lactation,” Enright said. “Exposure to TCC during development may pose a serious health risk to the developing embryo and fetus, as they are more sensitive to alterations in hormone levels, which may result in changes that often are irreversible.”

The study showing that chemicals in soaps and lotions may cause irreversible problems in infants was published in the journal PLOS One.

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1. “Exposure to Antibacterials from Mother to Child May Cause Adverse Effects in Development.” Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, 9 Aug. 2017.
2. “Maternal Exposure to an Environmentally Relevant Dose of Triclocarban Results in Perinatal Exposure and Potential Alterations in Offspring Development in the Mouse Model.” PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science.

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