When people wash their hands with antibacterial soap, most don’t think about where the chemicals contained in that soap end up. University of Minnesota engineering researchers do. A new University of Minnesota study determined that the common antibacterial agent, called triclosan, used in soaps and many other products is found in increasing amounts in several Minnesota freshwater lakes. The findings are directly linked to increased triclosan use over the past few decades. In addition, the researchers found an increasing amount of other chemical compounds, called chlorinated triclosan derivatives, that form when triclosan is exposed to chlorine during the wastewater disinfection process.
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