New research finds Antimicrobial ingredient triclosan promotes breast cancer

Antimicrobial ingredient triclosan promotes breast cancer, finds new study

11:47 AM, 24th April 2014
Antimicrobial ingredient triclosan promotes breast cancer
According to a new study, triclosan and octylphenol promotes the growth of human breast cancer cells.

WASHINGTON DC, US: According to a new research triclosan and another commercial substance called octylphenol, promoted the growth of human breast cancer cells in lab dishes and breast cancer tumors in mice. Some manufacturers are turning away from using triclosan as an antimicrobial ingredient in soaps, toothpastes and other products over health concerns. The study is published in the ACS journal Chemical Research in Toxicology.

Researchers Kyung-Chul Choi and colleagues found that hormonal imbalances seem to play a role in the development of breast cancer. Given that link, researchers are investigating whether endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDC), which are compounds that act like hormones, might spur cancer cell growth. EDC have become ubiquitous in products, in the environment and even in our bodies.

Research has found that two EDC - triclosan, an antimicrobial ingredient in many products, including soaps, cosmetics and cutting boards; and octylphenol, which is in some paints, pesticides and plastics - have accumulated in the environment.

In tests on human breast cancer cells and in special immunodeficient mice with tissue grafts, the scientists found that both agents interfered with genes involved with breast cancer cell growth, resulting in more cancer cells. Mice that were exposed to the two compounds had larger and denser breast cancer tumors than the control group.

“Although the doses of EDC were somewhat high, we did this to simulate their effects of daily exposure, as well as body accumulation due to long-term exposure, simultaneously in animal experiments. Thus, exposure to EDCs may significantly increase the risk of breast cancer development and adversely affect human health,” the researchers stated in the paper.

© American Chemical Society News

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