Author Information

Sherry Blackmon


Triclosan is an antimicrobial agent added to a wide variety of medical and consumer care products such as soaps, deodorants, toothpastes, and cleaning supplies. Bacterial exposure to triclosan could lead to chlorine resistant bacteria. These bacteria may survive chlorination, the standard method used to disinfect our drinking water. Water samples were obtained downstream a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) in Bridgewater, MA and reference virgin stream (VS) in Monroe, MA. Bacteria were isolated from water samples, exposed to triclosan (0.001 or 0.05mg/mL), and then exposed to chlorine (0.05g/mL). 49% of all bacterial strains increased chlorine resistance after at least one triclosan exposure. Bacteria from WWTP increased chlorine resistance 80% while VS only increased resistance 19%. However, the concentration of triclosan (0.001 and 0.05mg/mL) was not significant regarding whether bacteria gained chlorine resistance (38% and 35%, respectively).

Note on the Author

Sherry Blackmon is graduating in May of 2011 with a B.S. in Biology and minor in Biochemistry. Her research, conducted over the past year under the mentorship of Dr. Jonathan Roling, was funded by the Center for Sustainability and by the Adrian Tinsley Program. Sherry presented her research at the 2011 National Society of Toxicology conference. She also presented her research at the 2011 Eastern New England Biology Conference, the 2010 New England Undergraduate Symposium on Sustainability and the Environment and the 2010 Adrian Tinsley Summer Research Symposium.

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