Flushing Common Household Chemicals May Cause Antibiotic Resistance
The research, published in Environmental Science & Technology, studied Ontario’s sewer for triclosan – an antibacterial and antifungal agent often found not only in cleaning products, but in shampoo, soap, deodorant, and toothpaste. toothpaste, and cleaning products – and its role in generating antibiotic-resistant pathogens.
Sewage plants are an ideal environment for testing because the germs and antibacterial chemicals we wash down the drains mix and mingle in a giant Petrie dish. The researchers found that the majority of antibacterial material impacting E. coli was traced to triclosan alone.
Antibiotic-resistant superbugs have recently emerged as one of the leading causes of death worldwide. They make antibiotics less effective against once easily-treated infections including pneumonia, salmonellosis, gonorrhea, and tuberculosis.
On the bright side, triclosan has been prohibited for certain uses in some areas. The FDA (U.S. Food & Drug Administration) has banned the chemical in over-the-counter antiseptic products in the United States, however, the Canadian study’s results are evidence that more regulation is needed on a global level.
Antibacterial resistance is often blamed on the superbugs in hospitals and the overuse of prescription antibiotics. While these are still valid concerns, many people aren’t aware of how much they contribute to the problem. We are accelerating the production of dangerous antibiotic-resistant superbugs simply by flushing common materials down the pipes.
Tags: · antibiotic resistance, antibiotics, cleaning products, deodorant, E. coli, FDA, germs, gonorrhea, household chemicals, Ontario, pathogens, Petrie dish, pneumonia, salmonellosis, sewage, sewage plants, sewer, shampoo, soap, toothpaste, top, triclosan, tuberculosis, University of Toronto