European researchers called for monitoring of an antibacterial additive found in many household items after they found higher levels of the chemical than expected during a river study, according to the Environmental News Network.
German and Slovak researchers monitoring the Elbe river basin found that the antibacterial agent triclosan exceeded no-effect concentrations for algal communities. Triclosan was ranked as the sixth most environmentally harmful substances in Europe among 500 analyzed.
Triclosan is regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the European Union. It makes it into watersheds as part of waste water sewage sludge. This sludge has the potential to leach the chemical into rivers and also may enter agricultural fields through irrigation water.
Image: The Elbe River (Credit: Ekem, via Wikimedia Commons)