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Common Toothpaste ingredient liable to promoting colon cancer.

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Researchers claim that there is an “urgent need” to test triclosan, a common chemical in household products. After preliminary studies, scientists conclude that it might cause colonic inflammation and promote colon cancer.

Triclosan is not necessarily a household name, but the products that it is found in certainly are.



Its antibacterial and antifungal properties make it useful in toothpastes, detergents, soaps, and mouthwashes.

Since first being patented in 1964, it has grown in popularity to become one of the most widely used ingredients of its kind.

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Triclosan is now added to a range of items, such as bedding, socks, and toys, to slow down the buildup of bacteria and fungi.

Although generally considered safe, the chemical has become worryingly ubiquitous. For instance, in a study run by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost 75 percent of the urine samples they tested contained triclosan.

The compound has also been found in blood plasma and breast milk and is known to be widely distributed throughout the planet’s rivers, streams, oceans, and reservoirs.

Because of its potential role in antimicrobial resistance and endocrine disruption, and its theoretical effects on the immune system, it has been deemed a “contaminant of emerging concern” by the United States Geological Survey.

A study, published recently in the journal Science Translational Medicine, tested whether triclosan might have any negative effects on gut health. The researchers, led by Guodong Zhang, at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, used a mouse model to gain insight.

In order to investigate, they tested the impact of small doses of triclosan on a range of mouse models. The scientists gave each mouse model a brief, low-level exposure to triclosan.

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Health & Lifestyle

Cote d’Ivoire: Destroying the Killer Rice

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Authorities in Cote d’Ivoire have destroyed 18,000 tonnes of rice declared to be unfit for human consumption.

This follows tests carried out by the country’s consumer association which had demanded the government to do so after the cargo from Myanmar had been refused entry in Togo, Guinea and Ghana over quality issues.

The national and international quality control tests revealed the unfit nature of the rice.

It should be noted that most African countries depend on imports because local farmers are unable to meet the ever rising demands.

Source: Africanews

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Health & Lifestyle

Mali: Donkeys deliver vaccines as diseases spike with violence

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Reuters DAKAR –

With spiraling ethnic violence exposing more children in Mali to fatal diseases, health workers are using donkeys and boats to deliver life-saving vaccines, charities said on Wednesday.

In the central Mopti region – where 157 people died in one attack last month – suspected measles cases rose five-fold in one year to 98 in 2018, U.N. children’s agency UNICEF said, due to a four-fold jump in unvaccinated children to 70,000.

Motorcycles, which health workers used to reach remote villages, have been banned to reduce militant activity, forcing them to use traditional means like horses, it said.

“The problem of vaccination is directly linked to the current conflict,” said Patrick Irenge, medical coordinator for the charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), which is using cars and boats as mobile clinics to reach cut off communities.

“If there is a lull in the violence, a small window that opens, we organize a vaccination campaign.”

Last month’s massacre was the deadliest to date in a conflict between Dogon hunters and Fulani herders which has displaced tens of thousands of civilians in the West African country since it escalated last year.

Pneumonia is one of the top killers of children in Mali and it can be prevented with vaccines – as can measles – but it is too dangerous for many parents to venture out with children.

“Transport is difficult because we don’t have the means to rent a vehicle or a horse cart,” said Aissata Barry, a 34-year-old mother in the village of Kankelena, about 4 km (2.5 miles) from the nearest health center in the town of Sofara.

“There are rapists on the road. That’s what we’re afraid of,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone, adding that one of her neighbors was raped two weeks ago.

Mamadou Kasse, a local health worker who vaccinated Barry’s children, said the number of children he can reach each day has fallen since he swapped his motorbike for an eight-hour ride in a donkey cart with a cooler full of vaccines.

Reporting by Nellie Peyton; Editing by Katy Migiro. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women’s and LGBT+ rights, human trafficking, property rights, and climate change. Visit news.trust.org

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