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Do antiseptics contain triclosan or triclocarbon? And do they cause resistant-bacteria? Do alcohol-based sanitizers contain these compounds? What are the mechanisms of action for both antiseptics and alcohol based sanitizers as well as antibacterial agents?
Question Date: 2015-05-23
Answer 1:

Some antiseptics contain triclosan or triclocarbon and the ones that do are labeled. It’s controversial whether they can lead to resistant bacteria, though there are bacteria that are resistant to these antimicrobials. Most alcohol-based sanitizers do not contain these compounds because the alcohol is enough to kill microbes on its own. They’re usually in water-based soaps like hand soap. The way triclosan works is that it inhibits fatty acid synthesis which is important for making cell membranes. The enzyme that it targets is in bacteria, but not humans so we aren’t affected. With alcohol-based sanitizers, the alcohol disrupts cell membranes directly leading to death in a wide range of organisms, even including viruses.

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