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Food Chem Toxicol. 2007 Jan;45(1):125-9. Epub 2006 Aug 30.

Risk assessment of triclosan [Irgasan] in human breast milk.

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Triclosan is an established bacteriostatic compound widely used in topical and dental preparations. Its pharmacokinetics and toxicology have been extensively studied in humans and animals. It is known to be absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and across the skin. A recent report noted its occurrence in human breast milk and this has now been further investigated. Sixty two unselected samples of human milk from Breast Milk Banks in California and Texas have been analysed for triclosan; the concentration ranged from 0 to 2100 microg/kg lipid. A risk assessment of triclosan in human milk has been made, based on a conservative calculation of exposure of neonates and experimental toxicity test results. The broad set of reproduction toxicity tests of triclosan includes a 2-generation study in the rat, in which there was considerable exposure of dams and pups to triclosan throughout fetal development and up to sexual maturity in the F2 generation, and a further study in which pups of dosed dams were followed to weaning. They established an oral NOAEL for pups of 50 mg/kg/d. The maximum exposure of babies via breast milk calculated using very conservative additive assumptions is approximately 7.4 microg/kg/d. The 'Margin of Exposure' between the NOAEL and that calculated in breast fed babies is approximately 6760-fold. It is concluded that there is no evidence to indicate that the presence of a miniscule amount of triclosan in breast milk presents a risk to babies.

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