Snail and algal bioaccumulation of triclosan in Outlet Creek, Iowa

by Purushottam Lamichhane
Environmental Science
Faculty advisor: Dr. Melinda Coogan

Triclosan 5-chloro-2-(2,4-dichlorophenoxy)phenol, a lipophilic and relatively stable compound, is an important bactericide used in various personal care and consumer products such as shampoo, soap, deodorants, toothpaste, footwear, and plastics. Triclosan is widely used in cosmetic and oral care products as an antimicrobial agent. We can find it in our daily consumer products labeled as Microban, Irgasan DP-300, Lexol 300, Ster-Zac, Cloxifenolum, and Biofresh. Triclosan is a relatively stable compound and has been shown to bioaccumulate in specific aquatic plants and animals. This chemical is degradable and can be absorbed during biochemical processes, resulting in relatively high bioaccumulation levels in the cells of aquatic organisms like algae, fish, and snails.  This study investigated algal and snail bioaccumulation levels of triclosan at the outfall of the Storm Lake Wastewater Treatment Plant, Outlet Creek, Iowa by collecting, caging, and analyzing representative samples using the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) method in spring, 2009.  Results of this study found approximately three folds of bioaccumulation levels approximately in the algae and snail samples when compared to water samples collected at the outfall.