- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
Triclosan researcher Bruce Hammock, distinguished professor of entomology at the University of California, Davis, is featured in the Sept. 4 edition of Newsweek in a piece titled "Is Cancer Lurking in Your Toothpaste? (And Your Soap? And Your Lipstick?)"
Writer Alexander Nazaryan led with: "Since cancer seems to be an ever-present enemy, we greet the appearance of its lethal emissaries in prosaic objects with a morbid lack of surprise: carcinogens lurks in coffee, hamburgers, rugs, dry-cleaned clothes, even peanut butter. And it may apparently reside in one of the most popular toothpastes on the market, a toothpaste you've probably thrown into your own shopping cart with nary a second thought."
Of Hammock, he wrote:
"But for others, the chemicals aren't dangerous if used with moderation. Dr. Bruce D. Hammock, for example, runs the Laboratory of Pesticide and Biotechnology at UC Davis and was one of the investigators involved in the study on triclosan and triclocarban. 'There are real risks to triclosan,' Hammock says. 'And there are real benefits.' He welcomes more research into its effects on the human body.
Hammock called triclosan “quite a good antimicrobial” that belongs in the hospital, not on the kitchen counter, Nazaryan wrote. He quoted Hammock: “There's no reason for it to be there" (in hand and dish soaps).
See the full story in Newsweek.
In addition to his duties in the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology (see his lab research website), Hammock holds a joint appointment with the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center and directs the campuswide Superfund Research Program, National Institutes of Health Biotechnology Training Program, and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Combined Analytical Laboratory.
The UC Davis provost named him a distinguished professor in 2003. Hammock is a fellow of the Entomological Society of America, a member of the prestigious National Academy of Sciences, and the recipient of the 2001 UC Davis Faculty Research Lecture Award and the 2008 Distinguished Teaching Award for Graduate and Professional Teaching.
See the Aug. 13, 2012 UC Davis news release expanding on triclosan: "Triclosan, an antibacterial chemical widely used in hand soaps and other personal-care products, hinders muscle contractions at a cellular level, slows swimming in fish and reduces muscular strength in mice, according to researchers at the University of California, Davis, and the university of Colorado. The findings appear online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America."