Researchers say the amount of triclosan in household products is producing a significant increase in resistant bacteria.

If you had a choice, would you rather reduce plaque and gingivitis in your mouth or survive your next hospital stay?

On the face of it, that’s an absurd question. People would certainly choose survival over small improvements to oral hygiene.

But that scenario cuts to the heart of the debate around the use of antibacterial compounds in consumer products — compounds that could be creating dangerous antibiotic-resistant germs that soon could make once trivial maladies untreatable.

For instance, triclosan, an antimicrobial chemical found in toothpastes and mouthwash, may reduce the effectiveness of some antibiotic drugs by 100-fold, a new study from researchers at Washington University in St. Louis suggests.


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