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Authors

Devin Chattu

Department

Chemistry

Faculty Advisor

Kingsley Donkor

Abstract

Antibacterial agents are extremely common in everyday personal care products, such as toothpastes, facial cleansers, hand soaps, body washes, cosmetics, and numerous other products. Due to their widespread use, the active antibacterial agents in these products have been detected in public water samples, such as from pools and rivers. One antibacterial agent under scrutiny at this time is triclosan. Although its effects on human health are controversial and largely unknown, it has been reported to have an effect on the endocrine system. It should also be noted that industries are now avoiding the use of triclosan since very minute quantities can pose a severe risk to marine life in aquatic ecosystems. The purpose of this research was to develop a sensitive, rapid liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC/MS) method to detect triclosan in personal care products and public water samples. The experimental conditions, such as column temperature, solvents, flow rate, analyte extraction methods, and experimental procedure, were all optimized to find the best experimental conditions for detecting triclosan in the samples. The ability to detect triclosan in personal care products, as well as in pool and river water samples, will hopefully encourage consumers to reduce or avoid the use of triclosan containing products. Using the optimized method developed, the average concentration of triclosan in the personal care product samples ranged from 10 ppm to 4741 ppm. The average concentrations in the pool water and river water samples were 49 ppb and 72 ppb, respectively.

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