Effects of the common antibacterial agent triclosan on microbial communities and degradation of domestic xenobiotics were studied in simulated sewage-drain-field soil. Cultivable microbial populations decreased 22-fold in the presence of 4 mg kg−1 of triclosan, and triclosan-resistant Pseudomonas strains were strongly enriched. Exposure to triclosan also changed the general metabolic profile (Ecoplate substrate profiling) and the general profile (T-RFLP) of the microbial community. Triclosan degradation was slow at all concentrations tested (0.33–81 mg kg−1) during 50-days of incubation. Mineralization experiments (14C-tracers) and chemical analyses (LC–MS/MS) showed that the persistence of a linear alkylbenzene sulfonate (LAS) and a common analgesic (ibuprofen) increased with increasing triclosan concentrations (0.16–100 mg kg−1). The largest effect was seen for LAS mineralization which was severely reduced by 0.16 mg kg−1 of triclosan. Our findings indicate that environmentally realistic concentrations of triclosan may affect the efficiency of biodegradation in percolation systems.
- On-site percolation
- Programme Area 2: Water Resources