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Triclosan is another bisphenol compound that has seen widespread application in antibacterial products over the last several decades. Initially used in toothpastes, triclosan is now commonly used in hand soaps and is frequently impregnated into a wide variety of other products, including cutting boards, knives, shower curtains, clothing, and concrete, to make them antimicrobial. It is particularly effective against gram-positive bacteria on the skin, as well as certain gram-negative bacteria and yeasts. US Food and Drug Administration. “Triclosan: What Consumers Should Know.” 2015. http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm205999.htm. Accessed June 9, 2016.

Triclosan: antibacterial overkill?

Hand soaps and other cleaning products are often marketed as “antibacterial,” suggesting that they provide a level of cleanliness superior to that of conventional soaps and cleansers. But are the antibacterial ingredients in these products really safe and effective?

About 75% of antibacterial liquid hand soaps and 30% of bar soaps contain the chemical triclosan, a phenolic, ( [link] ). J. Stromberg. “Five Reasons Why You Should Probably Stop Using Antibacterial Soap.” Smithsonian.com January 3, 2014. http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/five-reasons-why-you-should-probably-stop-using-antibacterial-soap-180948078/?no-ist. Accessed June 9, 2016. Triclosan blocks an enzyme in the bacterial fatty acid-biosynthesis pathway that is not found in the comparable human pathway. Although the use of triclosan in the home increased dramatically during the 1990s, more than 40 years of research by the FDA have turned up no conclusive evidence that washing with triclosan-containing products provides increased health benefits compared with washing with traditional soap. Although some studies indicate that fewer bacteria may remain on a person’s hands after washing with triclosan-based soap, compared with traditional soap, no evidence points to any reduction in the transmission of bacteria that cause respiratory and gastrointestinal illness. In short, soaps with triclosan may remove or kill a few more germs but not enough to reduce the spread of disease.

Perhaps more disturbing, some clear risks associated with triclosan-based soaps have come to light. The widespread use of triclosan has led to an increase in triclosan-resistant bacterial strains, including those of clinical importance, such as Salmonella enterica ; this resistance may render triclosan useless as an antibacterial in the long run. SP Yazdankhah et al. “Triclosan and Antimicrobial Resistance in Bacteria: An Overview.” Microbial Drug Resistance 12 no. 2 (2006):83–90. L. Birošová, M. Mikulášová. “Development of Triclosan and Antibiotic Resistance in Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium.” Journal of Medical Microbiology 58 no. 4 (2009):436–441. Bacteria can easily gain resistance to triclosan through a change to a single gene encoding the targeted enzyme in the bacterial fatty acid-synthesis pathway. Other disinfectants with a less specific mode of action are much less prone to engendering resistance because it would take much more than a single genetic change.

Use of triclosan over the last several decades has also led to a buildup of the chemical in the environment. Triclosan in hand soap is directly introduced into wastewater and sewage systems as a result of the handwashing process. There, its antibacterial properties can inhibit or kill bacteria responsible for the decomposition of sewage, causing septic systems to clog and back up. Eventually, triclosan in wastewater finds its way into surface waters, streams, lakes, sediments, and soils, disrupting natural populations of bacteria that carry out important environmental functions, such as inhibiting algae. Triclosan also finds its way into the bodies of amphibians and fish, where it can act as an endocrine disruptor. Detectable levels of triclosan have also been found in various human bodily fluids, including breast milk, plasma, and urine. AB Dann, A. Hontela. “Triclosan: Environmental Exposure, Toxicity and Mechanisms of Action.” Journal of Applied Toxicology 31 no. 4 (2011):285–311. In fact, a study conducted by the CDC found detectable levels of triclosan in the urine of 75% of 2,517 people tested in 2003–2004. US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Triclosan Fact Sheet.” 2013. http://www.cdc.gov/biomonitoring/Triclosan_FactSheet.html. Accessed June 9, 2016. This finding is even more troubling given the evidence that triclosan may affect immune function in humans. EM Clayton et al. “The Impact of Bisphenol A and Triclosan on Immune Parameters in the US Population, NHANES 2003-2006.” Environmental Health Perspectives 119 no. 3 (2011):390.

In December 2013, the FDA gave soap manufacturers until 2016 to prove that antibacterial soaps provide a significant benefit over traditional soaps; if unable to do so, manufacturers will be forced to remove these products from the market.

A chemical structure of triclosan. Two carbon rings (6 carbons) connected by an oxygen; each ring has 2 more oxygens bound to it. A photo of someone washing their hands.
Triclosan is a common ingredient in antibacterial soaps despite evidence that it poses environmental and health risks and offers no significant health benefit compared to conventional soaps. (credit b, c: modification of work by FDA)

Questions & Answers

I mportance of microorganisms
azarsh Reply
microbiology is the study of micro organisms those been unicellular multicellular or acelluar
Nwakaego Reply
what is microbiology
Ebuka Reply
why study microbiology
David Reply
to know the cause of certain disease and how to cure them
without micro, medicines in term of diagnostic and cure would be far away from realizing its objectives
It's help to give the best medication.
Unvin Prisca the immune system
Gyabaa Reply
immune system is a complex of organ tissues and specialized cells which identify or kill the pathogens.
explain to me the pathogenesis of plasmodium
what is difference between bacillus and ecoil
Rymes Reply
similarities between prokaryotic cell and eukaryotic cell
Ednah Reply
Eukaryotic cells contain membrane-bound organelles, including a nucleus. ... Prokaryotic cells do not contain a nucleus or any other membrane-bound organelle. Prokaryotes include two groups: bacteria and another group called archaea.
what is different between plasma and serum?
difference between plasma and serum is that plasma is liquid n serum is fluid
what is microbiology
what is the diseases caused by the microorganisms
both cells have plasma membrane, which services as a barrier between the inside of the cell and outside. both prokaryotes and eukaryotes have ribosomes. they receive messages from messanger RNA molecules, telling them what proteins the cell needs.
Some bacteria infection
what is the name given to infection got from the hospital
Nosocomial infection
what is the apportion
what is the main functions of organelles
what is main function of right and left side of the brain.
Salifu. microbiology is the study of oganisms that are too small for the naked eyes to see. this include bacteria
Cabdi. apportion is to divide or share out
what is the parasitic helminths?
what are pathogens
Oluka Reply
any disease causing microorganism that can invade the body and cause harm
hepatitis b
what's da answer
any diseases that course harmful to body
hepatitis is usually implementery of the liver and is commonly course by virus infection
a type of virus that causes severe illness lasting from two to six weeks it may cause massive lived necrosis and cirrhosis
hepatitis B are transmitted when in contact with body fluid such as blood,semen,varginal secration that contain the hepatitis b virus
I understand necrosis,means death of all cell or injury of blood supply, but what is cirrhosis pls
sorry meant liver cirrhosis
good evening all
ok liver damage
I have a question
Hey welcome all of you...i think you are discussing about Micro-organisms..what does it Micro?
how about, scabies (bacteria) yeah can some one gist me abt it
sorry what doest it mean Micro organism?
microorganism are minute living organisms found almost everywhere. they can be autotrophic heterotrophic or chemotrophic
Tell me about enzyme kinetics
wowoww thanks a lot farmuyiwa Alice
have anyone colony pigmentation of different types of bacteria such as Aeromonas, Edwardsiella, vibros,
yes dear sadiqur Bacterias are live in everywhere.. .
microorganisms are arganism that cannot been seen with 👀 until by the use of microscope
microorganisms are arganism that cannot been seen with 👀 until by the use of microscope
yhea organisms are organisms they are naked eye/can't seen by our eyes
and scabies are one of the most common skin condition that can course itches and raches.
and also scabies are not infection, but an infestation
my Q is what is the contribution of van-leeuwenhoek in field of microbiology
Antony van leevenhoek is father of microbiology.
Anton Van leewun hook is discovered Microscope it's true or not? who can brief me please
micro organisms are organism that cannot be seen with an aided eyes ,but by the use of microscope
Yes.. He discover first microscope. He take 2 lence at a time and he saw the plant cells... Thus he was called father of microbiology
who examined water from a bathtub and discovered microbes
for instance any type of Stagnant water is creat there are d/t tupes of small animals.. so those animals are called Micro organism?
thank you javpal for Describing.
Hi the father of microbiology is Louis Pasteur
Then the father of medical microbiology is Robert Koch
can you please differentiate between vacuoles and inclusion bodies
Noor Reply
vacuoles consists of watery solution called cell sap while bodies are organelles
5 difference please
Archaea is an odd type of bacteria that live in extreme environments; high salt, high temperature etc. usually called extremophiles.
Danesia Reply
you know anyone that has delt with enterobacter agglomerans.
it is a type of gram negative bacteria and its ubiquitous mostly isolated from plant stuffs and also from faecal material of animals. I heard the name pantoea . it is bacillus in structure.
What are the classification of microorganisms
Portia Reply
Basic classification are eukaryotic and prokaryotic..
micro organisms are classified into three namely: Archaea, eukaryote and prokaryotic organisms
Yay that's right
what is archaea
I've got an issue with the message view
Frank Reply
Is there any effective way to learn microbiology.
Frank Reply
I have some basic knowledge of biology. I mean i'm totally beginner in that field.
Assuming that i'm interested in neuroscience. What is the best way to master that particular subject.
Can you wait me just a minute
Iam apologies for guidance you in neuroscience.. I'm not physician.. I'm microbiologist
My pleasure to join to you
Let's begin a conversation
Frank Reply
What would be saying
do you know anything about microbiology
I have so much studying to catch up on🙄
any study tips
Yas of course
What would you like to know
well i'm studying Pharmacy second year and i just started With Microbiology
if you have any basics to tell us 🤷🏻‍♀️ would be helpful
Yas, first you must know that you will have a very easy lecture..
In second stage you will try to learn the type of microbiology
A simple definition for microbiology
In second stage you will try to learn the type of microbiology.. you must learn the bacteria..its structure.. Classification of bacteria according to shape..
It's so easy

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Source:  OpenStax, Microbiology. OpenStax CNX. Nov 01, 2016 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col12087/1.4
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