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James M. Steckelberg, M.D.read biographyclose window
James M. Steckelberg, M.D.James Steckelberg, M.D.
Dr. James Steckelberg is a consultant in the Division of Infectious Diseases and a professor of medicine at Mayo Medical School.
A native of Fremont, Neb., Dr. Steckelberg was a Rhodes Scholar and graduated from the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine as a resident in internal medicine and a fellow in infectious diseases, and is board certified in both. He is the former director of the Infectious Diseases Research Laboratory at Mayo Clinic.
Dr. Steckelberg belongs to numerous professional organizations. He is a founding member of the Musculoskeletal Infection Society and a fellow of the American College of Physicians and of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. He has served on many Mayo Clinic committees and is a member of the Department of Medicine Leadership Committee and of the executive committee of the Division of Infectious Diseases. He also served on the editorial boards of "Mayo Clinic Proceedings" and "Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy" and has been an editorial reviewer for more than a dozen publications.
Dr. Steckelberg's research interests include experimental models of infection, epidemiology of infection, and antimicrobial resistance and therapy of bacterial infections.
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Triclosan: Is it safe?
Should I avoid products that contain triclosan?
from James M. Steckelberg, M.D.
There currently isn't enough evidence to recommend avoiding use of products that contain triclosan — an ingredient added to certain soaps, cosmetics, clothing, cookware, furniture and toys to reduce or prevent bacterial contamination. Recent studies, however, have raised questions about whether triclosan might be hazardous to human health.
Research has shown that triclosan:
- Alters hormone regulation in animals
- Might contribute to the development of antibiotic-resistant germs
- Might be harmful to the immune system
When you use a product containing triclosan, you can absorb a small amount through your skin or mouth. A 2008 study, which was designed to assess exposure to triclosan in a representative sample of U.S. children and adults, found triclosan in the urine of nearly 75 percent of those tested.
Triclosan isn't an essential ingredient in many products. While triclosan added to toothpaste has been shown to help prevent gingivitis, there's no evidence that antibacterial soaps and body washes containing triclosan provide any extra benefits, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
If you're concerned about triclosan, look for products that don't list triclosan in their ingredients.Next question
Immunization: Are you immune to a disease?
- Rees Clayton EM, et al. The impact of bisphenol A and triclosan on immune parameters in the U.S. population, NHANES 2003-2006. Environmental Health Perspectives. 2011;119:390.
- Witorsch RJ, et al. Personal care products and endocrine disruption: A critical review of the literature. Critical Reviews in Toxicology. 2010;40:1.
- Triclosan: What consumers should know. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/downloads/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/UCM206222.pdf. Accessed March 11, 2011.
- FDA provides information to consumers about the ingredient triclosan. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm207833.htm. Accessed March 11, 2011.
- Triclosan facts. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. http://www.epa.gov/oppsrrd1/REDs/factsheets/triclosan_fs.htm. Accessed March 11, 2011.
- Triclosan. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/exposurereport/Triclosan_FactSheet.html. Accessed March 11, 2011.
- Calafat AM, et al. Urinary concentrations of triclosan in the U.S. population: 2003-2004. Environmental Health Perspectives. 2008;116:303.