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(STUDY FINDS) – A common, bacteria-fighting ingredient in soaps, toothpastes, and cleaning products may be the reason for the recent increase in antibiotic-resistant germs.

Researchers from the University of Toronto discovered that triclosan is the predominant antibiotic sitting in Canada’s sewage sludge. With so much of the chemical floating around in local water treatment plants, study authors say it’s likely that triclosan exposure is the main reason bacteria is developing a defense against common antibiotics in the country.

“Since there are so many different antibiotics in the sewage sludge, we were surprised to find that the majority of antibacterial activity of the sludge could be directly linked to triclosan alone,” says study lead author and PhD candidate Holly Barrett in a university release.

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