Triclosan (IUPAC name: 5-chloro-2-(2,4-dichlorophenoxy)phenol) is a potent wide spectrum antibacterial and antifungal agent. It is a polychloro phenoxy phenol.
This organic compound is a white powdered solid with a slight aromatic/phenolic odor. It is a chlorinated aromatic compound which has functional groups representative of both ethers and phenols. Phenols often show anti-bacterial properties. Triclosan is only slightly soluble in water, but soluble in ethanol, diethyl ether, and stronger basic solutions such as 1 M sodium hydroxide. Triclosan can be made from the partial oxidation of benzene or benzoic acid, by the cumene process, or by the Raschig process.
Triclosan is found in soaps (0.10 to 1.00%), deodorants, toothpastes, shaving creams, mouth washes, and cleaning supplies and is infused in an increasing number of consumer products, such as kitchen utensils, toys, bedding, socks, and trash bags. Triclosan has been shown to be effective in reducing and controlling bacterial contamination on the hands and on treated products. More recently, showering or bathing with 2% triclosan has become a recommended regimen for the decolonization of patients whose skin is carrying methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) following the successful control of MRSA outbreaks in several clinical settings.