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Triclosan and Antibiotics resistance

 

Glossary over Triclosan and Antibiotics resistance

Activated sludge

In biological wastewater treatment, activated sludge refers to either

  • the active population of micro-organisms, including bacteria and other living organisms such as fungi and protozoa, used to treat wastewater.
  • the wastewater treatment process in which these organisms are employed, or
  • the sludge resulting from that process.
Antibiotics

A class of natural or man-made substances, such as penicillin, that kill or inhibit the growth of some micro-organisms. (Source: GreenFacts, based on CoRIS, Glossary  )

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Antimicrobial

An antimicrobial is a chemical substance which, at low concentrations, exerts an action against micro-organisms and destroys them or inhibits their growth.

Examples of antimicrobials targeting bacteria include antibiotics that act against infections in humans or animals and biocides such as disinfectants and preservatives. (Source: GreenFacts)

Bacteria

Bacteria are a major group of micro-organisms that live in soil, water, plants, organic matter, or the bodies of animals or people. They are microscopic and mostly unicellular, with a relatively simple cell structure.

Some bacteria cause diseases such as tetanus, typhoid fever, pneumonia, syphilis, cholera, and tuberculosis.

Bacteria play a role in the decomposition of organic matter and other chemical processes. (Source: GreenFacts)

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Bacterial resistance

Bacterial resistance is the capacity of bacteria to withstand the effects of antibiotics or biocides that are intended to kill or control them. (Source: GreenFacts, based on the  SCENIHR opinion on Antibiotic Resistance Effects of Biocides )

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Bioaccumulation

Bioaccumulation is used to describe the increase in concentration of a substance in an organism over time.

Bioaccumulative substances tend to be fat soluble and not to be broken down by the organism. (Source: GreenFacts )

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Biocide(s)

According to the Biocides Directive (98/8/EC), biocidal products are those that are intended to destroy, render harmless, prevent the action of, or otherwise exert a controlling effect on any harmful organism by chemical or biological means. Examples include disinfectants, preservatives, antiseptics, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and insecticides.

Biocidal products mentioned in the Biocides Directive are listed in the following table: (Source: GreenFacts, based on the Biocides Directive (98/8/EC)  )

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Biofilm

Biofilms are communal structures of micro-organisms that adhere to living or inert surfaces and are encased in a protective coating secreted by them.

Bacteria living as a biofilm are able to resist to biocides and to antibiotics more effectively than those living as free organisms and they withstand considerably higher doses of antimicrobial products. (Source: GreenFacts)

Cell membrane

The cell membrane is a fine structure that envelops a cell, separating the content of the cell from its surroundings.

It regulates the substances that can enter and leave the cell.

The membrane consists of a double layer of lipids in which proteins are embedded. (Source: GreenFacts)

Chlorine

Chlorine (Cl2) is produced in large amounts and widely used both industrially and domestically as a disinfectant and bleach. In particular, it is widely used in the disinfection of swimming pools and is the most commonly used disinfectant and oxidant for drinking-water treatment. In water, chlorine reacts to form hypochlorous acid and hypochlorites. (Source: WHO  Guidelines for drinking water quality )

Concentration

The amount of a chemical or substance present in a particular quantity of soil, water, air, food, blood, hair, urine, breath, or any other media. (Source: GreenFacts)

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Detergent

Cleaning product that usually contain surfactants to make oils and greases soluble in water and remove them more easily. (Source: GreenFacts)

DG Health and Consumers

"The Health and Consumers DG (formally known as Health and Consumer Protection DG) is one of 36 Directorates-General (DGs) and specialised services which make up the European Commission."

The mission statement of the Health and Consumers DG is: "to promote a better quality of life by ensuring a high level of protection of consumers' health, safety and economic interests as well as of public health"

"This overall goal is addressed through legislative and non-legislative actions in three inter-related policy areas: 1. Consumer policy (...), 2. Public Health (...), 3. Food safety, animal health, animal welfare and plant health (...)". (Source: DG Health and Consumers website  )

Disinfectant(s)

A chemical or physical process that kills or inactivates microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, and protozoa. (Source: US EPA US EPA Drinking Water Glossary  )

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Drug resistance

Drug resistance occurs when a cell or bacteria becomes less sensitive to a specific drug. The clinical consequence of this is the decreased effectiveness of that drug to cure a disease or to improve a patient's symptoms.

Respiratory infections, HIV/AIDS, diarrhoeal diseases, tuberculosis and malaria are the leading killers among the infectious diseases. In recent years, all of these diseases have become resistant to first-line drugs. (Source: GreenFacts )

Environmental cycles

A natural process in which elements are continuously cycled in various forms between different compartments of the environment (e.g., air, water, soil, organisms).

Examples include the carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus cycles (nutrient cycles) and the water cycle. (Source: GreenFacts)

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Enzyme(s)

A protein that encourages a biochemical reaction, usually speeding it up. Organisms could not function if they had no enzymes. (Source: NHGRI NHGRI Talking Glossary of Genetic Terms  )

Epidemiological studies

Studies on human populations, which attempt to link human health effects (e.g. cancer) to a cause (e.g. exposure to a specific chemical). (Source: GreenFacts)

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European Commission

"The European Commission (EC) embodies and upholds the general interest of the [European] Union and is the driving force in the Union's institutional system. Its four main roles are to propose legislation to Parliament and the Council, to administer and implement Community policies, to enforce Community law (jointly with the Court of Justice) and to negotiate international agreements, mainly those relating to trade and cooperation."

The Commission's staff is organised into 36 Directorates-General (DGs) and specialised services, such as the Environment DG and the Research DG. (Source: EC website  )

European Cosmetics Directive

The Cosmetics Directive (76/768/EEC) is the overall piece of EC legislation that regulates the manufacture and placing on the market of cosmetic products. Its main aim is to ensure that cosmetics are not harmful under normal or foreseeable conditions of use. Adopted by the European Union in 1976, it has since been substantially revised many times. (Source: GreenFacts)

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Fungi

Any of a group of plant-like microorganisms that include molds, mildews, mushrooms and yeast.

Fungi lack chlorophyll and use living or dead organisms as food by breaking them down and then absorbing the substances into their cells. Many fungi reproduce by disseminating spores which are transported by air and await proper conditions of moisture and temperature to germinate, grow and reproduce. (Source: GreenFacts )

Genes

The functional and physical unit of heredity passed from parent to offspring. Genes are pieces of DNA, and most genes contain the information for making a specific protein. (Source: NHGRI Talking Glossary of Genetic Terms  )

In vitro

In an artificial environment outside a living organism or body. For example, some toxicity testing is done on cell cultures or slices of tissue grown in the laboratory, rather than on a living animal. (Source: ATSDR Glossary of Terms  )

In vivo

Within a living organism or body. For example, some toxicity testing is done on whole animals, such as rats or mice. (Source: ATSDR Glossary of Terms  )

Infection

It is the growth of a parasite within the human body that causes illness. It can be a virus, a bacteria, a fungus or a protozoa. (Source: GreenFacts )

Method validation

Method validation is the process used to confirm that the analytical procedure employed for a specific test is suitable for its intended use. Results from method validation can be used to judge the quality, reliability and consistency of analytical results; it is an integral part of any good analytical practice. (Source: Ludwig Huber, Validation and Qualification in Analytical Laboratories  )

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Micro-organism

Any living organism that is too small to be seen by the naked eye such as bacteria, viruses, protozoa, single-celled algae, and many types of fungi. (Source: GreenFacts)

Pathogenic organisms

Organisms, including bacteria, viruses or cysts, capable of causing diseases (typhoid, cholera, dysentery) in a host (such as a person). There are many types of organisms which do NOT cause disease. These organisms are called non-pathogenic. (Source: US EPA US EPA Drinking Water Glossary, A Dictionary of Technical and Legal Terms Related to Drinking Water  )

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Protein

A large molecule composed of one or more chains of amino acids in a specific order, formed according to genetic information.

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Protozoa

Large group of unicellular animals which are bigger and more complex than bacteria.

Undetectable to naked eyes, most of them are around 0.01-0.05 mm. Examples include amoebas and flagellates.

Protozoa can cause diseases such as malaria and sleeping sickness.

Untreated water may be contaminated with protozoa some of which may not be killed by disinfection alone. (Source: GreenFacts)

Risk assessment

A scientifically based process consisting of four steps:

  • hazard identification,
  • hazard characterization,
  • exposure assessment and
  • risk characterization
(Source:   Official Journal of the European Communities 2002 L 31 )

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Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety

The SCCS provides opinions on questions concerning all types of health and safety risks (notably chemical, biological, mechanical and other physical risks) of non-food consumer products (for example: cosmetic products and their ingredients, toys, textiles, clothing, personal care and household products such as detergents, etc.) and services (for example: tattooing, artificial sun tanning, etc.). For further information on the SCCS, see:

http://ec.europa.eu/health/scientific_committees/consumer_safety/index_en.htm 

Sewage

Sewage refers to waste-water from homes and industry which is collected and carried away in sewers (pipes or tunnels). When raw waste-water is cleaned in treatment plants the waste product is sewage sludge, which can be used as a fertiliser under certain conditions or deposited in landfills. (Source: GreenFacts )

Species

A group of organisms that differ from all other groups of organisms and that are capable of breeding and producing fertile offspring. This is the smallest unit of classification for plants and animals. (Source: OceanLink Glossary of Common Terms and Definitions in Marine Biology  )

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Surface water

Water on the surface of the Earth, such as in lakes, rivers, streams, ponds, and springs. (Source: ATSDR Glossary of Terms   )

Susceptibility

The likelihood of producing a significantly larger-than-average response to a specified exposure to a substance.

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Tolerance to biocides

Bacteria develop “tolerance” if they become less affected by a biocide so that higher concentrations of the biocide are needed to stop them multiplying. (Source: GreenFacts)

Triclosan

Triclosan is an organic compound with a slight phenolic smell.

Triclosan is commonly used as disinfectant or antiseptic to reduce and control bacterial contamination.

Because of its antibacterial properties it is included in many detergents, soaps, deodorants, toothpastes, cosmetics, shaving creams, mouth washes, and cleaning supplies, but also in consumer products, such as kitchen utensils, toys, bedding, socks, and trash bags. (Source: GreenFacts)

Virus

A virus is a small organism which can infect other biological organisms.

Viruses can only reproduce by invading and taking over cells as they lack the cellular machinery for self reproduction.

They cause diseases in human beings, animals, plants and bacteria.

Examples of human diseases caused by viruses include the common cold, influenza, small pox, AIDS, and cold sores. (Source: GreenFacts)

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