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Triclosan and Antibiotics resistance
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Triclosan and Antibiotics resistance

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Triclosan is added to many consumer goods such as cosmetics and detergents to kill microorganisms or inhibit their growth. It serves as disinfectant, preservative or antiseptic and is widely used in …

Triclosan is added to many consumer goods such as cosmetics and detergents to kill microorganisms or inhibit their growth. It serves as disinfectant, preservative or antiseptic and is widely used in health care and animal husbandry.

There is concern that this widespread use of triclosan may lead to the emergence or proliferation of harmful bacteria that are resistant to both biocides and antibiotics.

In the light of current scientific evidence, can triclosan lead to antibiotic resistant bacteria?

Published in: Health & Medicine
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  • 1. One possibility that raises concern is Triclosan is added to many consumer that bacteria exposed to triclosan in goods to kill microorganisms or 1 hat is bacterial resistance? W the environment might develop a inhibit their growth. There is concern resistance to it and that this resistance that this widespread use may lead 3 acteria are said to be “resistant” B might in turn lead to the emergence to the emergence or proliferation of to a product intended to kill them harmful bacteria that are resistant and proliferation of antibiotic resistant – antibiotic or biocide – if they to both biocides and antibiotics. bacteria. This could become a health survive concentrations that would concern by making some diseases more normally kill most bacteria of the difficult to treat.1 hat exactly is triclosan? W same species. 1 s there evidence that triclosan I 3 ome S bacteria are naturallyTriclosan is a substance that kills unaffected and others may develop could cause bacterialmicrobes or inhibits their growth – a resistance to certain biocides over resistance?biocide. It is added to many consumer time.goods such as cosmetics and detergents So far this possibility has only been 3 hen different strains of bacteria Wto stop bacteria from growing on shown under laboratory conditions, are exposed to a product intended tothem. In hospitals and clinics, it is which may be very different from realused to disinfect the surgeon’s hands, kill them, those that have resistance life.operating rooms etc. to protect genes survive while the others arepatients from infections. When raising After 40 years of intensive use of killed. Over time, this can lead to theanimals it is used to clean them and triclosan, there is no evidence of a selective survival of resistant strains,their surroundings to prevent diseases. resistance developing in homes, in and to an increase of resistance. hospitals or in the environment, but studies are few. 3 n some cases, resistance to a I1 ould C triclosan in the biocide, such as triclosan, can lead environment pose a problem? More research is needed to rule out or to resistance to antibiotics. This is a confirm whether bacteria can develop health concern, as diseases causedTriclosan has been found in water, resistance to triclosan in real life by bacteria that are resistant tosediments and soil in many parts of the conditions, and whether this can lead one or several antibiotics are moreworld, but very little is known about to the emergence and proliferation of difficult to treat.the exact amounts that end up in the antibiotic resistant bacteria.environment or about its effect onbacteria living there. This fact sheet is based on the scientific opinion “Triclosan - Antimicrobial Resistance”, an opinion adopted on 22 June 2010 by the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) of the European Commission. The detailed and nuanced view of the European Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety on this issue is available at: http://ec.europa.eu/health/scientific_committees/consumer_ safety/docs/sccs_o_023.pdf EUROPEAN COMMISSION

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