It's a microbial world
Triclosan is a antimicrobial compound found in many soaps labelled “antibacterial”.  Did you know that it’s also found in many other products you may use every day, like your toothpaste?  There is little evidence that these products actually reduce disease rates with regular use, but triclosan can be important in fighting the spread of bacteria in places like hospitals.  The ubiquity of this antimicrobial in our household products likely breeds triclosan resistant bacteria in our homes (reducing the potential for effectiveness when really needed), but it now appears that our love of these products is spreading the compound into local waterways and breeding resistance there as well.  Urban waterways are the most affected, as they receive inputs from the most dense populations, and the newly resistant bacteria may cause shifts in the microbial community that have an effect on ecosystem function!  So next time you are at the store, take a look at that cleaner or personal care product you are buying to see if contains triclosan.  And ask yourself if you think you really need it.

Triclosan is a antimicrobial compound found in many soaps labelled “antibacterial”.  Did you know that it’s also found in many other products you may use every day, like your toothpaste?  There is little evidence that these products actually reduce disease rates with regular use, but triclosan can be important in fighting the spread of bacteria in places like hospitals.  The ubiquity of this antimicrobial in our household products likely breeds triclosan resistant bacteria in our homes (reducing the potential for effectiveness when really needed), but it now appears that our love of these products is spreading the compound into local waterways and breeding resistance there as well.  Urban waterways are the most affected, as they receive inputs from the most dense populations, and the newly resistant bacteria may cause shifts in the microbial community that have an effect on ecosystem function!  So next time you are at the store, take a look at that cleaner or personal care product you are buying to see if contains triclosan.  And ask yourself if you think you really need it.

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