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Home » Triclosan » Level 2 » Question 1

Triclosan and Antibiotics resistance

1. What is the biocide triclosan?

  • 1.1 What are biocides?
  • 1.2 What is triclosan?

1.1 What are biocides?

Biocides are products that kill, inactivate or control the growth of harmful microorganisms, including bacteria, fungi, protozoa and viruses. Biocides are used as disinfectants, preservatives and antiseptics.

One of the most widely used biocides is triclosan, which has many applications in consumer products, including cosmetics. Triclosan is effective against a wide range of microorganisms but it does not kill bacterial spores and there are types of bacteria that are unaffected by it. More...

1.2 What is triclosan?

Triclosan is a very well known biocide which has been in use for over 40 years. The main application of triclosan in the EU is in cosmetics, where the maximum allowed concentration is currently 0.3%.

Commercial products contain triclosan mixed with several other ingredients but the exact formulation is often unknown because companies do not want others to copy them. The effectiveness of triclosan depends on the formulation of the product itself and on the conditions in which it is used. Perhaps the most important factor is the amount of triclosan present in the product. At high concentrations, triclosan kills its target quickly, although it is not equally effective on all microorganisms. The efficacy of triclosan decreases rapidly with dilution but nevertheless, even at lower concentrations triclosan is still successful at controlling the growth of microorganisms. More...