Green Buckeye RN

EHN: Antimicrobials Murderous in Nature
November 11, 2010, 10:30 am
Filed under: News

Nov 10, 2010

Ricarta, M, H Guasch, M Alberch, D Barceló, C Bonnineau, A Geiszinger, M·la Farré, J Ferrer, F Ricciardi, AM Romaní, S Morin, L Proia, L Sala, D Sureda and S Sabater. 2010. Triclosan persistence through wastewater treatment plants and its potential toxic effects on river biofilms. Aquatic Toxicology
Synopsis by Thea Edwards

Antimicrobial compounds that are washed down the drain make it into the environment where they can interfere with the algae and bacteria needed for healthy ecosystem function.

When released into waterways from wastewater treatment plants, the antimicrobial triclosan continues to do what it was designed to do – kill bacteria – and starts doing what it was not designed to do – interfere with photosynthesis in algae.

The results from a study in Spain suggest that triclosan carries a high environmental risk and warrants concern about its presence in waterways. The findings agree with prior studies that find the antimicrobial is toxic to bacteria at levels measured in water.

However, this is one of just a few published studies to report that triclosan can reduce photosynthesis in a type of algae known as diatoms. Through photosynthesis, diatoms produce oxygen and food that other aquatic organisms rely upon. It is estimated that 80 percent of the oxygen in our atmosphere comes from diatoms, making these microscopic organisms essential for life on earth.

Triclosan is an anti-microbial chemical widely used in personal care products, like toothpaste and anti-bacterial hand soap.

Read the article at


Leave a Comment so far
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: