Triclosan and Phenolics - FAQ

What is Triclosan and what is it used for?

Triclosan belongs to a large class of antimicrobials containing a phenolic ring as its chemical backbone, known as bisphenol or estrified phenol molecules. Like many phenolic based antimicrobials, it is highly stable and has relatively poor water solubility. Its stability allows it to be used in relatively diverse environments such as high temperatures without it breaking down and becoming ineffective. Low water solubility means that it can be used in water environments, without it being too mobile to maintain good durability. By contrast due to low water solubility, aqueous formulations lacking surfactant type stabilizers are typically not appropriate for its use.

Triclosan is primarily used as an antibacterial for preservation and protection of personal care and consumer products such as plastics, textiles, coatings, sealants, and resins. It is one of few antimicrobials proven safe and effective in direct food contact applications, such as in toothpaste to help prevent longer term proliferation of bacterial on teeth or in the mouth. Significantly this molecule is very effective against difficult to control mycobacterium which can contaminate industrial and consumer products such as metal working fluids and surfactant based formulations.

Reference Articles: 1.) Whither Triclosan? J Antimicrob Chemother. 2004 May; 53(5):693-5. Apr 8. Review. Russell AD. and Chemosphere, 2009 Nov 23. 2.)Fate of triclosan in agricultural soils after biosolid applications. Lozano N, Rice CP, Ramirez M, Torrents A.

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