Author(s): Zhang H, Huang CH
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Abstract The antibacterial agents triclosan (5-chloro-2-(2,4-dichlorophenoxy)phenol) and chlorophene (4-chloro-2-(phenylmethyl)phenol) show similar susceptibility to rapid oxidation by manganese oxides (delta-MnO2 and MnOOH) yielding Mn(II) ions. Both the initial reaction rate and adsorption of triclosan to oxide surfaces increase as pH decreases. The reactions are first-order with respect to the antibacterial agent and MnO2. The apparent reaction orders to H+ were determined to be 0.46 +/- 0.03 and 0.50 +/- 0.03 for triclosan and chlorophene, respectively. Dissolved metal ions (Mn(II), Zn(II), and Ca(II)) and natural organic matter decrease the reaction rate by competitively adsorbing and reacting with MnO2. Product identification indicates that triclosan and chlorophene oxidation occurs at their phenol moieties and yields primarily coupling and p-(hydro)quinone products. A trace amount of 2,4-dichlorophenol is also produced in triclosan oxidation, suggesting bond-breaking of the ether linkage. The experimental results support the mechanism that after formation of a surface precursor complex of the antibacterial agent and the surface-bound Mn(IV), triclosan and chlorophene are oxidized to phenoxy radicals followed by radical coupling and further oxidation to form the end products. Compared to several structurally related substituted phenols (i.e., 2-methyl-4-chlorophenol, 2,4-dichlorophenol, 3-chlorophenol, and phenol), triclosan and chlorophene exhibit comparable or higher reactivities toward oxidation by manganese oxides. The higher reactivities are likely affected by factors including electronic and steric effects of substituents and compound hydrophobicity. Once released into the environment, partitioning of triclosan and chlorophene to soils and sediments is expected because of their relatively hydrophobic nature. Results of this study indicate that manganese oxides in soils will facilitate transformation of these antibacterial agents.
This article was published in Environ Sci Technol
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy