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Pregnancy Timeline by SemestersFetal liver is producing blood cellsHead may position into pelvisBrain convolutions beginFull TermWhite fat begins to be madeWhite fat begins to be madeHead may position into pelvisImmune system beginningImmune system beginningPeriod of rapid brain growthBrain convolutions beginLungs begin to produce surfactantSensory brain waves begin to activateSensory brain waves begin to activateInner Ear Bones HardenBone marrow starts making blood cellsBone marrow starts making blood cellsBrown fat surrounds lymphatic systemFetal sexual organs visibleFinger and toe prints appearFinger and toe prints appearHeartbeat can be detectedHeartbeat can be detectedBasic Brain Structure in PlaceThe Appearance of SomitesFirst Detectable Brain WavesA Four Chambered HeartBeginning Cerebral HemispheresFemale Reproductive SystemEnd of Embryonic PeriodEnd of Embryonic PeriodFirst Thin Layer of Skin AppearsThird TrimesterSecond TrimesterFirst TrimesterFertilizationDevelopmental Timeline
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Home | Pregnancy Timeline | News Alerts | News Archive June 31, 2013

 


A recent study found that triclocarban did not affect the post-birth survival rate of baby rats exposed to the compound in the womb. But baby rats nursed by mothers that were
exposed to
the compound did not survive beyond the sixth day after birth.




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Antibacterial soaps may harm nursing babies

A mother's prolonged use of antibacterial soaps containing the chemical triclocarban may harm nursing babies, according to a recent study from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

The study, which was conducted on rats, showed that exposure to the compound may reduce the survival rates of babies.

Rebekah Kennedy, a UT graduate student pursuing a dual master's degree in public health and nutrition, and Jiangang Chen, an assistant professor in the UT Department of Public Health, presented the results this month at the Endocrine Society's 95th Annual Meeting and Expo in San Francisco. Kennedy was the study's lead author.


Triclocarban, a bactericide, is found primarily in antibacterial bar soaps.


The researchers noted that they were not condemning the use of antibacterial soaps.

"People have to weigh their own risks and decide what would be the best route," Kennedy said. "There's always a time and place for antibacterial bar soaps, such as in health care settings where the chance of infection and transmission is high. For the average person, antibacterial soap is no more effective than regular soap."

Chen conducted an earlier study that examined how prolonged exposure to triclocarban affected growth of sex organs in adult male rats. Kennedy decided to go a step further and look into how it would affect baby rats in the womb and during nursing.


Humans are exposed to triclocarban through skin absorption. Research shows that based on how the compound is biotransformed, oral exposure in rats is similar to dermal exposure for humans, Kennedy said.


During Kennedy's research, pregnant rats fed with triclocarban through food had similar blood concentrations compared to human blood concentrations after a 15-minute shower using antibacterial soap.

The study found that triclocarban did not affect the post-birth survival rate of baby rats exposed to the compound in the womb. But baby rats nursed by mothers that were exposed to the compound did not survive beyond the sixth day after birth.


The results showed that a mother's long-term use and exposure to triclocarban could affect her baby's early development, according to the animal model, Kennedy said.


Humans may be exposed to triclocarban in other ways besides absorbing it through the skin. Not all triclocarban is washed down the drain, about 95 percent of it is removed when wastewater is treated—but the remaining 5% can still be a problem, particularly as treated wastewater is used in agricultural production. We may be eating triclocarban in addition to scrubbin with it.

"There are potential exposure routes in daily life we are not aware of," Chen said. "The goal is to try to minimize those if at all possible."

The research was supported by the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

To learn more about the study, visit http://tinyurl.com/nhvyd47.

Original press release: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-06/uota-usc062713.php