Triclosan antibiotic drug molecule

Triclosan antibiotic drug molecule

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Credit: DR TIM EVANS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Triclosan antibiotic drug, molecular model. Triclosan is widely used as it is active against a number of common bacteria. It is used in soaps, deodorants and toothpastes, and is also incorporated into many products, such as bedding, clothes and rubbish bags. One of its main advantages is that few bacteria can develop resistance to it. There have been concerns that it can react in the environment to form dioxins, long-lived chemicals that have been implicated in birth defects, immune system damage and some cancers. The amounts produced are miniscule, however. Atoms are colour-coded: carbon (blue), oxygen (red), chlorine (green) and hydrogen (white).

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