State Water Resources Research Institute Program


Project ID: 2007MN203B
Title: Triclosan and triclosan-derived dioxins in the Mississippi River sediment record
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2007
End Date: 2/28/2009
Congressional District: MN 05
Focus Categories: Toxic Substances, Sediments, Wastewater
Keywords: triclosan, dioxin, historical record
Principal Investigators: McNeill, Kristopher (University of Minnesota); Arnold, William Alan (University of Minnesota)
Federal Funds: $ 27,187
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 53,573
Abstract: This project is focused on establishing whether triclosan has been and continues to be a source of dioxins to the aquatic environment. It is hypothesized that triclosan, a widely used antimicrobial found in consumer products, is transformed into toxic dioxin compounds through chlorination of triclosan-containing wastewater and sunlight exposure in rivers that receive chlorinated wastewater. It is further hypothesized that triclosan and its products will associated with the sediment downstream of the point of discharge and their release to the environment thus will be recorded in the sediment record. To determine the historical inputs of triclosan and its products to the Upper Mississippi River from Minnesota's largest wastewater treatment plant, the Metro Plant in St. Paul, sediment cores from Lake Pepin will be analyzed. It is expected that triclosan and its products will not be found in pre-1960 sediment, it will be at low levels between 1960 and 1990 when its use was limited, and will be at the highest levels after 1990 following its widespread use in liquid handsoap and toothpaste. The results of this study will further our understanding of micropollutants in wastewater and will provide specific information about the appropriateness of chlorination disinfection for triclosan-containing waters.

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