Chemical found in household products could be contributing to antibiotic resistance

August 26, 2022 by Dan Haves

A recent study by researchers at the University of Toronto has identified a chemical found in several consumer products that could be a potential cause of the rise of antibiotic resistance In Canada.

The study, by Assistant Professor Hui Peng’s research group in the department of chemistry in the Faculty of Arts & Science, was able to show that triclosan – a chemical often included in household items like hand soaps, toothpastes, and cleaning products to fight off bacteria – is the predominant antibiotic in Ontario sewage sludge.

The findings were published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.

“Since there are so many different antibiotics in the sewage sludge, we were surprised to find that the majority of antibacterial activity of the sludge could be directly linked to triclosan alone,” says Holly Barrett, a PhD candidate in the Peng group and lead author on the study.

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