062 – Active-B, triclosan, anti-bacterial soap myth

…Animal studies have shown that triclosan alters hormone regulation. However, data showing effects in animals don’t always predict effects in humans. Other studies in bacteria have raised the possibility that triclosan contributes to making bacteria resistant to antibiotics. …
How can I tell if there is triclosan in a product that I am using?
Antibacterial soaps and body washes, and toothpastes are considered over-the-counter drugs. If an over-the-counter drug contains triclosan, it will be listed as an ingredient on the label, in the Drug Facts box. If a cosmetic contains triclosan, it will be included in the ingredient list on the product label.

– What consumers should know
http://www.fda.gov/forconsumers/consumerupdates/ucm205999.htm


WTF – hindustan unilever again:

Active-B:
At the same time that Hindustan Unilever was participating in the “health in your hands” initiative, for example, the company was modifying the material qualities of Lifebouy soap by introducing the anti-bacterial agent “Active-B’, or triclosan. In India this new ingredient was used to market the brand’s enhanced health-protecting qualities and heightened effectiveness over other soaps. Yet the same business-school case studies that applauded Hindustan Unilever’s involvment in the global handwashing initiative also noted that the decision to incorporate triclosan was taken despite ongoing debate in scientific and public forums in the US about the health risks associated with adding anti-bacterial agents to household hygiene products …
Conroversy over risks of triclosan inttensified in the late 1990s when findings published in Nature showed that under laboratory conditions triclosan induced genetic changes to bacteria … The authors suggested that the widespread use everyday household products containing triclosan could lead to appearnce of multi-product resistant super-germs.

As the business-school case studies report, these US-based controversies have not impinged on Unilever’s use of triclosan in household products for markets in India.
Introductory readings in anthropology – Global and local: Societies, Environment and Globalization p.236
http://books.google.com.eg/books?id=2-TWAgAAQBAJ&pg=PA236&lpg=PA236&dq=unilever+triclosan&source=bl&ots=LzY0HKn92q&sig=U–TJ73TgihwzRKFqquaN8cOPCI&hl=en&sa=X&ei=oKqIU5akB4fZ4QSOuYCoDA&ved=0CDMQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=unilever%20triclosan&f=false


at last but not the least, Thank you Minnesota for raising this flag
…A recent University of Minnesota study has shown levels of triclosan in lake sediment has been increasing. Scientists fear this could promote the growth of resistant organisms. If we want high concentrations of triclosan to be useful in an industrial or medical setting, maybe we can’t be dumping it down the sink every day. At the same time, research indicates the benefit of using antibacterial hand soaps and other consumer products might be very close to zero — regular soap matches the effectiveness of triclosan soap in many studies.
About 75% of hand soaps use triclosan in the US, and Minnesota isn’t the first state to look at banning it. Several others are considering enacting similar legislation. There is even talk of the FDA stepping in after the agency announced last year that it was planning to reevaluate the use of triclosan in consumer products. If a few more states ban the chemical, manufacturers will have little choice but to go along. So, if you meet a Minnesotan, it’s probably still safe to shake their hand.
http://www.geek.com/science/minnesota-becomes-the-first-state-to-ban-antibacterial-hand-soap-1594414/

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⊕ – i received a crash course in postmodern thought

during my first semester at Swarthmore college. In a lesson that was to be repeated throughout my undergraduate education, the professor opened the class by admonishing us to reject binary thinking. As the class was staring at her dumbfounded, she divided the chalkboard in two with a thick vertical line and asked us to name the dualisms that structure our world. After she provided a few examples to get us started – male/female, white/black – we jumped into the game, calling out binaries one after another: rich/poor, smart/stupid, human/animal, cool/lame, skinny/fat … The game went on until the board was full and the air saturated with chalkdust. Pausing a moment, our comparative literature professor asked us if we noticed anything odd about the list we had constructed.
Looking at the chalkboard, we saw an easy answer: on the left of the line were “good” terms – cool,skinny, rich, smart, white – and on the right were their counterparts, the derided terms. In an instant, our class grasped an essential precept of postmodern philosophy: Western thought has hitherto divided the world into a series of binary oppositions that privilege one side over the other. The political implications of the lesson were clear: Oppression can be traced back to the way we think, and hope of liberation rests on escaping this binary thinking.
The postmodern project of overcoming binary thought, however, is more difficult than it may appear. First of all, one cannot simply flip the terms and privilege what was once diminished – that would merely replicate the binary in reverse.
The issue is not which term is privileged but the false belief that existence can be divided into two distinct, competing parts. Thus the task of the postmodern activist became the blurring and problematizing of distinctions in order to destroy dualist thinking. It was all done in the name of political liberation. At least that was the intended goal.

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