Antibiotic resistance linked to these household products

Written by admin

Antibiotic resistance linked to these household products: University of Toronto

Chemicals such as triclosan enter sewage treatment plants after being flushed into our sewers. There they can interact with bacteria and cause the development of antibiotic resistance. Credit: About. Science. Technology. 2022

The study, conducted by Assistant Professor Hui Peng’s research group in the Department of Chemistry at the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, was able to show that triclosan, a chemical often included in household items like hand soaps , toothpaste and cleaning products to fight bacteria — is the predominant antibiotic in Ontario’s sewage sludge.

The results were published in the journal Environmental science and technology.

“Since there are so many different antibiotics in sewage sludge, we were surprised to find that the majority of the antibacterial activity in the sludge could be directly linked to triclosan alone,” says Holly Barrett, licensee. a Ph.D. candidate in the Peng group and lead author of the study.

The research was conducted by examining sewage sludge from Ontario’s sewage treatment plants (STPs). As the study notes, STPs are a breeding ground for antibiotic-resistant bacteria due to the diversity of antibiotics found there. Indeed, after rinsing our household products in the sewers, the antibiotic ingredients contained in these products are transported to the STPs where they accumulate.

Of the thousands of coexisting chemicals in sludge, triclosan was found to be the predominant antibacterial compound impacting E. coli.

Antibiotic resistance linked to these household products: University of Toronto

Holly Barrett, a PhD candidate in the Department of Chemistry, conducted a study that found that triclosan, found in many common household products, is the predominant antibiotic in Ontario’s sewage sludge. 1 credit

Barrett notes in the study that antibiotic resistance is a growing concern. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria, also called “superbugs”, are strains of bacteria that are not killed by antibiotics. They are produced when continued exposure to antibiotics causes bacteria to evolve over several generations to survive the effects of antibiotics. These bacteria can be very dangerous to humans, especially those with weakened immune systems. Between 2014 and 2016, 700,000 deaths worldwide were attributed to antibiotic resistance.

In 2016, the United States Food and Drug Administration banned the use of triclosan in antibacterial liquid soaps, and then a year later in topical antiseptics found in healthcare settings. Currently, there are few regulations on triclosan in Canada, and Health Canada considers triclosan safe for use in a variety of consumer products at specified levels.

“I think our results demonstrate the urgent need for regulators in Canada to re-evaluate the use of triclosan,” Barrett said.

“It is still used in thousands of different household and cosmetic products in Canada, as well as in healthcare settings. Although there are a few regulations in place to limit the maximum amount of triclosan allowed in consumer products, even very low levels of this chemical can cause antibiotic-resistant bacteria to form over time.

“More actions need to be taken.”

More information:
Holly Barrett et al, triclosan is the predominant antibacterial compound in Ontario sewage sludge, Environmental science and technology (2022). DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.2c00406

Provided by University of Toronto

Quote: Antibiotic resistance linked to these household products (November 1, 2022) Retrieved November 1, 2022 from

This document is subject to copyright. Except for fair use for purposes of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without written permission. The content is provided for information only.

#Antibiotic #resistance #linked #household #products

About the author


Leave a Comment