University of Illinois researchers have reportedly decided to use an $8-million grant originally earmarked for studies on whether exposure to bisphenol A (BPA ) and phthalates alters child development, to further investigate the health effects of exposure to triclosan—used in antibacterial products—and parabens—used in cosmetics, sunscreen products and shampoo. The substances, which can accumulate in the body, have purportedly been linked to cancer, endocrine disruption, reproductive toxicity, immunotoxicity, neurotoxicity, and skin irritation. Studies have also shown that because the majority of products that contain triclosan are washed down consumers’ drains, high levels of the substance have accumulated in water systems, posing a potential risk to fish and other aquatic life. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has reportedly found no evidence that antibacterial washes containing triclosan are superior to plain soap for protecting consumers from bacteria. See Cosmeticsdesign. com, August 20, 2013;