1887

Abstract

In supermarkets and chemists worldwide, consumers are faced with an array of antimicrobial domestic cleaning and personal hygiene products purporting to kill germs and keep people safe. Many of these proven active ingredients (biocides) encourage the development of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in microbes and microbial populations, in turn increasing the likelihood of AMR infections. In order to understand and address the selective pressure towards AMR posed by the unrestricted use of biocides, it is necessary to understand which biocides are most frequently found in consumer products and the current regulatory framework that governs their use. In this research we survey the biocidal active ingredients in the major categories of cleaning and personal care products available from supermarkets and pharmacies in Australia, and comment on the regulations that dictate how these products are tested and marketed. Benzalkonium chloride and ethanol were the two most prevalent antimicrobial biocides in this study, while triclosan, which is banned in several jurisdictions, was found in a small number of products. In Australia, many antimicrobial consumer products are regulated for efficacy and safety under the Therapeutic Goods Act, but the potential to drive microbial adaptation and AMR is not considered. Overall this survey underscores the broad use and light regulation of antimicrobial biocides in products available to the general public in Australia, and provides an information resource to inform further research and stewardship efforts.

Funding
This study was supported by the:
  • Australian Research Council (Award DE200101524)
    • Principle Award Recipient: FrancescaShort
  • This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. This article was made open access via a Publish and Read agreement between the Microbiology Society and the corresponding author’s institution.
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2024-02-14
2024-06-22
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