Petition to Ban Triclosan Claims Antibacterial Agent is a Threat to Health

A group of environmentally-conscious public employees is calling for a ban on triclosan; a commonly used antibacterial chemical, which they say does little to prevent illness and is a threat to human health and the environment. 

The petition to ban triclosan was put forward to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) earlier this month by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).

The organization says that triclosan is aiding in the development and spread of antibiotic-resistant illnesses, like methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria (MRSA). They also say that triclosan is also being found to accumulate in higher and higher levels in wildlife.

Triclosan is an antifungal and antibacterial chemical added to many U.S. cleaning products; from toothpaste to hand soap to acne medication. However, the FDA has stated that there is no evidence it provides any health benefit to consumers.

Many experts, including the American Medical Association, are concerned that the widespread and haphazard use of the antibacterial agent helps bacteria build resistances to modern drugs, which makes them harder to treat. According to PEER, more than 90,000 people die each year due to antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

“In our quest to protect ourselves from germs, Americans are exposing themselves to far greater biological dangers,” New England PEER Director Kyla Bennett, a former EPA scientist, said in a press release. “Given that there are equally effective, less dangerous alternatives, there is no reason to subject people and the environment to these hazards.”

About a year ago, in April 2010, the FDA published a web page titled “Triclosan: What Consumers Should Know.” On the webpage, the FDA says that while there are no known human health risks connected to triclosan, there have been a number of scientific studies that have raised concerns since the agency last reviewed the antibacterial chemical.

The FDA says that studies have shown that triclosan can alter hormone regulation in some animals. Other studies have supported the belief that it contributes to the evolution of bacteria that is antibiotic resistant.

“At this time, the agency does not have evidence that triclosan in antibacterial soaps and body washes provides any benefit over washing with regular soap and water,” the agency concluded.

The FDA is in the process of reviewing triclosan’s hormonal effects in light of the animal studies and expects to release its findings sometime this spring.

Two Injured in Springfield Motorcycle Accident

Springfield, MO: Two people were injured in a recent Springfield motorcycle accident on Farm Road 94 in Greene County, the Bolivar Herald-Free Press reports

Public Citizen Warned about Desogestrel

Vancouver, Canada: Women who take birth control containing desogestrel may not be as concerned about desogestrel side effects as women who take other forms of birth control. After all, there has not been a lot of media coverage concerning oral contraceptives that contain desogestrel. But back in 2007, the US Food and Drug Administration was petitioned to take desogestrel birth control products off the market, due to the risk of venous thrombosis. More recently, a study has found an increased risk of gallbladder disease in women who use desogestrel-based birth control

Actos: Are the Benefits Worth the Risks?

Boston, MA: A new diabetes study has found positive effects of Actos, but the risk of Actos side effects may still outweigh the benefits. The study found that Actos can slow the progression of diabetes, but it still found evidence of Actos side effects. With rival drug Avandia’s use being severely restricted, many patients are turning to Actos, but there are still concerns about the link between Actos and heart failure or Actos and bladder cancer

International Business Machines IBM Indiana Medicaid Class Action Lawsuit Complaint

Low-Income Beneficiaries of Indiana Medicaid Program File Class Action Lawsuit Complaint Against IBM, ACS Human Services, Phoenix Data and Arbor E&T Over Medicaid Benefits. A class action lawsuit has been filed against International Business Machines Corp. (“IBM”), ACS Human Services, LLC, (“ACS”), Phoenix Data Corporation (“Phoenix Data”) and Arbor E&T, LLC (“Arbor”) (collectively “Defendants”) in the Marion Superior [...]

International Business Machines IBM Indiana Medicaid Class Action Lawsuit Complaint is a post from: ClassActionLawsuitsInTheNews

Study: Propecia Side Effects Include Sexual Dysfunction

Washington, DC: A new study suggests that Propecia side effects can include sexual dysfunction in some men, which can potentially last for several months after the men stop using the product

Studies Ordered for Side Effects of Symbicort, Advair Diskus, Dulera, Foradil

Federal drug regulators have ordered that new studies be done to examine potential safety problems with a number of asthma drugs, including Advair, Symbicort, Dulera and Foradil

The FDA announced it was requiring the new clinical safety trials on April 15 in an FDA drug safety communication.

All of the asthma drugs belong to a class of medications known as long-acting beta-agonists (LABAs). The FDA is concerned that the side effects of the drugs may increase the risk of severe asthma problems and death.

Four of the ordered clinical trials will be for 11,700 patients 12 years of age and older and cover each of the four drugs; Advair, Dulera, Foradil and Symbicort. There will be a fifth clinical trial, again for Advair, involving patients ages 4 to 11 years old that will include 6,200 patients.

In all of the trials, the patients will be observed while undergoing treatment for six months. In the older subjects, researchers will compare the rate of serious asthma side effects, such as intubation, hospitalization and death. The pediatric trial will also look at issues that affect the children’s quality of life, such as missed days of school and emergency room visits. The FDA hopes to have results by 2017.

The trials will compare the safety of using LABAs in combination with traditional corticosteroid asthma treatments, as compared to the use of just corticosteroids alone. In February 2010, the FDA declared that LABAs should be contraindicated for use as a stand-alone asthma treatment.

That decision came after a review of previous studies that found that some LABAs can mask worsening inflammation in the airways, leading to worsening symptoms that may not be recognized in a timely manner. This could result in severe injury or death.

Asthma affects 20 million Americans, including 6.5 million children. It is a chronic disease with symptoms like wheezing, difficulty breathing and spasms, which can severely limit activities and impact quality of life.

Levi Strauss Fined for California Labor Law Violations

San Francisco, CA: Levi Strauss & Co. recently agreed to pay more than $1 million in overtime pay for approximately 600 workers after the US Department of Labor found that the company had been in violation of the California labor code

ERISA Plan Lawsuits: Employers Accused of Not Transferring Funds

Atlanta, GA: When employers offer an ERISA plan to employees, they have a duty to properly manage that plan. That includes ensuring that employee contributions to the employee savings plan or to the employee stock plan are put into those ERISA plans in a timely manner

Texas Woman Seeks Asbestos Compensation from 17 Companies

Jefferson County, TX: A Texas woman is blaming 17 companies for a man’s asbestos death after he allegedly worked around asbestos-containing products manufactured by the firms, the Southeast Texas Record reports