New Test To Detect Triclosan in Water

February 2, 2009

A team of scientists from Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and Abraxis, Inc. compared the a new triclosan test, called "magnetic particle enzyme immunoassay," to the more traditional method-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). They hope that this test, which detects triclosan at a concentration of 20 parts per trillion (ppt)-the equivalent of 1 ounce in 31 million tons, can expedite environmental monitoring of this widely used antibacterial agent in rivers, wells, and other bodies of water.

A team of scientists from Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and Abraxis, Inc. compared the a new triclosan test, called "magnetic particle enzyme immunoassay," to the more traditional method-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). They hope that this test, which detects triclosan at a concentration of 20 parts per trillion (ppt)-the equivalent of 1 ounce in 31 million tons, can expedite environmental monitoring of this widely used antibacterial agent in rivers, wells, and other bodies of water.

"This new technique is capable of measuring the triclosan content of a large number of water samples much faster than previous methods," says ARS chemist Weilin L. Shelver. "We plan on expanding the assay's use into the detection of triclosan in other environmental matrices and food."