anti-bacterial agent in soap?

Candace Krepel ckrepel at
Tue Jan 28 11:10:38 EST 1997

Paul N Hengen (pnh at wrote:

: Yes. I found one with the label on it. The active ingredient is triclosan.
: Does anyone have further information about this antibacterial agent?
: References are appreciated :-)

         Unique Identifier
          Bhargava HN.  Leonard PA.
          Division of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Massachusetts College
          of Pharmacy and Allied Health Sciences, Boston 02115, USA.
          Triclosan: applications and safety.
          American Journal of Infection Control.  24(3):209-18, 1996
          Triclosan (2,4,4'-trichloro-2'-hydroxydiphenyl ether) is a
          nonionic, broad spectrum, antimicrobial agent that, because
          of its favorable safety profile, has been incorporated into
          a variety of many personal care products, including
          deodorant soaps, underarm deodorants, shower gels, and
          health care personnel handwashes. Triclosan exhibits a
          moderate degree of substantivity to the skin, and, in many
          products, it imparts a remnant antimicrobial effect.
          Although direct contact with the material under exaggerated
          exposure conditions causes dermal irritation in laboratory
          animals, it has only rarely been associated with skin
          irritation or sensitization in human being in formulated
          products. Acute, subacute/subchronic, and chronic toxicity
          profiles have been established to determine that triclosan
          is neither an acute oral toxicant nor that it acts as a
          carcinogen, mutagen, or teratogen. A new application for
          triclosan is in oral dentifrices for plaque control.
          Currently under investigation in the United States, it is
          approved for oral care application in Canada and many
          European countries.

You're welcome.

Candy Krepel
Surgical Microbiology Research Lab, Medical College of Wisconsin
ckrepel at

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