Antibacterials Causing Resistance to Antimicrobials

Amanda Martin:

Research shows that chemicals in antibacterial products may not be as great as people think. Chemicals in these products such as triclosan and triclocarban, are creating a bacteria that is antibacterial resistant. These chemicals leave a residue on surfaces they are supposedly cleaning. While they are killing certain bacterias, they are not killing all of them. The ones that they are not killing are becoming resistant to certain bacterias. This can cause problems because people can become resistant to certain medical treatments.  Both triclosan and triclocarban, are present in 60 percent of America’s streams and rivers. The two chemicals are efficiently removed from wastewater in treatment plants. However, they end up staying in the materials which are used as fertilizer for crops.  Therefore, they can potentially contaminate the food we eat, and thus causing antimicrobial resistance. These compounds have been shown to disrupt hormones essential neural and reproductive development as well. There are currently over 2,000 over-the-counter products containing these chemicals such as toothpaste, soaps, detergents, paints, and school supplies. Minnesota is the first state to pass a ban on the use of these antimicrobials in certain products. This ban will take effect starting January 2017. A few companies such as Johnson & Johnson and Procter & Gamble have also discontinued these compounds from some of their products. The FDA has been recommended a to conduct a scientific review of these compounds and if they have a sufficient amount of evidence, they may consider putting a national ban on them.

Ballantyne, Coco. “Strange but True: Antibacterial Products May Do More Harm Than Good.” Scientific American Global RSS. N.p., 7 June 2007. Web. 30 Sept. 2015. <>.

Iyer, Shweta. “Antibacterial Products May Harm Pregnant Moms And Their Babies.” Medical Daily. N.p., 10 Aug. 2014. Web. 30 Sept. 2015. <;. 

“U.S. Food and Drug Administration.” FDA Taking Closer Look at ‘Antibacterial’ Soap. N.p., 16 Dec. 2013. Web. 30 Sept. 2015. <;.

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