Daily Archives: September 3, 2014

UAH Global Temperature Update – August 2014

Dr. Roy Spencer’s global temperature update here.


Triclosan exposure, toxicity, mechanisms of action

Triclosan: environmental exposure, toxicity and mechanisms of action. Journal of Applied Toxicology. DOI: 10.1002/jat.1660

Triclosan [5-chloro-2-(2,4-dichlorophenoxy)phenol; TCS] is a broad spectrum antibacterial agent used in personal care, veterinary, industrial and household products. TCS is commonly detected in aquatic ecosystems, as it is only partially removed during the wastewater treatment process. Sorption, biodegradation and photolytic degradation mitigate the availability of TCS to aquatic biota; however the by-products such as methyltriclosan and other chlorinated phenols may be more resistant to degradation and have higher toxicity than the parent compound. The continuous exposure of aquatic organisms to TCS, coupled with its bioaccumulation potential, have led to detectable levels of the antimicrobial in a number of aquatic species. TCS has been also detected in breast milk, urine and plasma, with levels of TCS in the blood correlating with consumer use patterns of the antimicrobial. Mammalian systemic toxicity studies indicate that TCS is neither acutely toxic, mutagenic, carcinogenic, nor a developmental toxicant. Recently, however, concern has been raised over TCS’s potential for endocrine disruption, as the antimicrobial has been shown to disrupt thyroid hormone homeostasis and possibly the reproductive axis. Moreover, there is strong evidence that aquatic species such as algae, invertebrates and certain types of fish are much more sensitive to TCS than mammals. TCS is highly toxic to algae and exerts reproductive and developmental effects in some fish. The potential for endocrine disruption and antibiotic cross-resistance highlights the importance of the judicious use of TCS, whereby the use of TCS should be limited to applications where it has been shown to be effective.

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Water as source of mycobacteria

Jitka Makovcova, Michal Slany, Vladimir Babak, Iva Slana and Petr Kralik. The water environment as a source of potentially pathogenic mycobacteria. Journal of Water and Health Vol 12 No 2 pp 254–263 doi:10.2166/wh.2013.102

Nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) are ubiquitous organisms of a wide variety of environmental reservoirs, including natural and municipal water, soil, aerosols, protozoans, animals and humans. Several of these species are potential pathogens which affect human health. The aim of this study was to determine the occurrence of NTM in the water environment. Samples were taken from 13 water-related facilities including fish ponds, storage ponds, drinking water reservoirs and an experimental recirculation system. Altogether, 396 samples of water, sediment and aquatic plants were collected and analysed. All samples were examined using conventional culture methods. Suspected microbial isolates were subjected to polymerase chain reaction analysis and identified using partial sequence analysis of the 16S rDNA gene. The culture revealed 94/396 samples (23.7%) that contained mycobacteria. Among known NTM we identified potentially pathogenic mycobacteria isolated from the fresh water environment for the first time: Mycobacterium asiaticum, M. chimaera, M. interjectum, M. kumamotonense, M. lentiflavum, M. montefiorense, M. nebraskense, M. paraffinicum and M. simiae. Epidemiologic studies suggest that the natural water environment is the principal source of human exposure. Our results indicate that besides the well-known potentially pathogenic mycobacteria it is important to observe occurrence, proliferation and persistence of newly discovered mycobacterial species.

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