Friday, January 19, 2018


Triclosan is an organic compound used as an antibacterial and antifungal agent in some products. The structure of triclosan is given below
Triclosan has the systematic IUPAC name of 5-chloro-2-(2,4-dichlorophenoxy)phenol.
Since its development in the 1960s, it has been used as a hospital scrub. Its use spread beyond our hospitals and into our homes where it can be found as an additive in toothpaste, soaps and detergents.
In 2007, University of Michigan School of Public Health undertook a study which found that consumer-grade antibacterial soaps containing Triclosan are just as effective as plain soap for removing bacteria from your hands.
University of Cambridge researchers may have found a new use for Triclosan; as an anti-malarial agent.
Malaria kills more than 500,000 people every year. Unfortunately, malaria parasites are becoming more resistant to the drugs we have been using to treat malaria.. It appears that Triclosan inhibits an enzyme in the malaria parasite and works even in drug-resistant parasites! It is hoped a new anti-malarial drug based on Triclosan can be developed in the future.

Elizabeth Bilsland, Liisa van Vliet, Kevin Williams, Jack Feltham, Marta P. Carrasco, Wesley L. Fotoran, Eliana F. G. Cubillos, Gerhard Wunderlich, Morten Gr√łtli, Florian Hollfelder, Victoria Jackson, Ross D. King, Stephen G. Oliver. Plasmodium dihydrofolate reductase is a second enzyme target for the antimalarial action of triclosan. Scientific Reports, 2018; 8 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-19549-x

Further Reading:
IUPAC Nomenclature (organic):
Introduction to functional groups:
Molecular Formula:
2-dimensional structural formula:
Condensed structural formula:
Skeletal structural formula: 
Pure substances and mixtures:
Solutions concepts:
Percentage composition:
Mass-mole calculations:
Concentration (molarity):
Parts per million (ppm):
weight/weight (mass/mass) concentration:

Suggested Study Questions:
  1.  Use the skeletal structural formula for Triclosan to draw a 2-dimensional structural formula.
  2. On your structural formula, identify each halogen.
  3. On your structural formula, identify a hydroxyl functional group
  4.  On your structural formula, identify an ether link
  5. On your structural formula, identify a benzene ring
  6. Give the molecular formula for Triclosan
  7.  An antibacterial handwash contains 0.5% by mass Triclosan. For 250 g of this handwash, calculate:
    • mass in grams of Triclosan present
    • moles of Triclosan present
  8. Calculate the concentration of Triclosan in the same 250 g of handwash in units of:
    • mol L-1
    • g/100g
    • parts per million (ppm)
  9. Is toothpaste a pure substance or a mixture? Explain your answer.
  10. Is Triclosan a pure substance or a mixture? Explain your answer.


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