Monday, April 12, 2010

FDA Looking at Triclosan

The Washington Post had a story by Lyndsey Layton this past week:  FDA says studies on triclosan, used in sanitizers and soaps, raise concerns.

The Food and Drug Administration said recent research raises "valid concerns" about the possible health effects of triclosan, an antibacterial chemical found in a growing number of liquid soaps, hand sanitizers, dishwashing liquids, shaving gels and even socks, workout clothes and toys.

The FDA and the Environmental Protection Agency say they are taking a fresh look at triclosan, which is so ubiquitous that is found in the urine of 75 percent of the population, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The reassessment is the latest signal that the Obama administration is willing to reevaluate the possible health impacts of chemicals that have been in widespread use.

No where in the article is the use of triclosan use in suture mentioned, yet in my research on allergy/reactivity to suture material I found that it is.  From my post, Suture Allergy vs Suture Reactivity :

Allergic reactions to suture materials are rare and have been specifically associated with chromic gut. However, Johnson and Johnson mention known triclosan allergy as a contraindication for use of certain sutures (see below). Contact allergy to triclosan is uncommon…….

MONOCRYL Plus Antibacterial suture should not be used in patients with known allergic reactions to Irgacare MP(triclosan).

PDS Plus Antibacterial suture should not be used in patients with known allergic reactions to Irgacare MP (triclosan).

VICRYL*suture should not be used in patients with known allergic reactions to Irgacare MP (triclosan).  [In rechecking facts, I found that only Vicryl Plus has the triclosan, so simple vicryl or coated vicryl should be okay.]

More from the Washington Post article:

The FDA was responding to inquiries from Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), who has been pushing federal regulators to take stronger action to restrict the use of triclosan and other chemicals that have been shown in laboratory tests to interfere with the delicate endocrine system, which regulates growth and development………

Markey wants triclosan banned from all products designed for children and any product that comes into contact with food, such as cutting boards.

Suture is not classified for use in only adults or only children.    Part of the issue with triclosan is that not enough is know about the chemical.  Do we need to not use any of the sutures with triclosan?

I am fond of PDS though I rarely use PDS Plus.  I use a lot of Vicryl, again rarely Vicryl Plus.

It seems that it is mostly the “Plus” sutures that have the triclosan, so perhaps it would be wise in children to not use those sutures until more is known.  Anyone have any thoughts on this?

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