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TAMIU Prof’s Groundbreaking Triclosan Research Featured Posted: 5/31/16

TAMIU Prof’s Groundbreaking Triclosan Research Featured

 

Dr. Mónica O. Mendez
Dr. Mónica O. Mendez, TAMIU associate professor of Biology, says what goes on beneath the ground should concern us all. Her groundbreaking research on bacteria-fighting triclosan, common in everything from household antibacterial soaps to toothpaste, shows that both good and bad bacteria can be dispatched by triclosan. “What you use has an impact even though you’re probably not thinking about it,” she tells the online web site for Crop Science Society of America.  

Dr. Mónica O. Mendez, TAMIU associate professor of Biology, says what goes on beneath the ground should concern us all.  

Her groundbreaking research on bacteria-fighting triclosan, common in everything from household antibacterial soaps to toothpaste, shows that both good and bad bacteria can be dispatched by triclosan.

Dr. Mendez’ research, published in the March edition of The Journal of Environmental Quality, was recently profiled by the online web site for the Crop Science Society of America.

“We know that triclosan decreases the diversity of bacterial communities,” Dr. Mendez says in the Crop Science article, “But we still need to figure out which good bacteria we are losing.”

Mendez and her colleagues watered vegetables and soil with triclosan-contaminated water. Crop Science Society of America Author Rossie Izlar notes that Mendez’ study was also the first to measure the long-term, repeated effects of triclosan on soil and plant communities. While triclosan does break down, it never completely disappears; researchers found, and can actually turn into other harmful compounds.

 Mendez concluded, “It’s not just triclosan that we’re interested in…we also want to understand the possible products as degradation occurs.” 

Dr. Mendez is part of the faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences’ department of Biology and Chemistry.  She holds her Ph.D. from the University of Arizona.  She earned her Master of Science at the University of Texas at San Antonio and her Bachelor of Science at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. 

Find out more about her triclosan research here: https://www.crops.org/science-news/following-tricky-triclosan

For additional information on TAMIU’s biology program, visit: http://www.tamiu.edu/coas/depts/biochem/ 

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Related link:

The Journal of Environmental Quality

https://dl.sciencesocieties.org/publications/jeq/abstracts/45/3/1029