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Old 09-14-2009, 12:09 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doofus McFancypants View Post
I had heard it outlined as...

all the bacteria are competing for the resources ( food and such)
the less harmful bacteria grow rapidly and "squeeze out" the harmful ones who grow/divide more slowly
Kill off the less harmful ones and now the More harmful ones have the resources and space to do there thing.


I am sure that there is some truth to that - but the way things mutate naturally, could anyone really say it was a cause?
This is how bacterial infections work.

Yeast, for instance - there is good yeast, and bad yeast. When bad wins over good, an infection starts, and the person gets sick, as their body tries to fight the infection. Often, this results in a fever (defense mechanism) and abdominal illness.

Using anti-bacterial agents, over time, kills both the good and the bad - we need the good for more than just keeping the bad in check - they actually help us to fully digest food, they help with poisons and other substances that would otherwise be harmful to us, and they "clean up" the "leftovers", as it were. Those are only a few among the many uses that bacteria serve in our bodies, and we kill them every time we use AB agents to kill the "bad bad evil bacteria".

The result, since you'll never kill the whole strain, is that the strain adapts to the use of the AB agent, thus becoming "immune" to it. A stronger strain of that bacteria develops, which is resistant to the AB agent. Now, you have to use a stronger AB agent. Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

These chemicals being in such widespread use also pose environmental risks, since they don't "deactivate". Triclosan doesn't get filtered from waste water before being expelled to the ocean or wherever it ends up going in each case - it then kills marine bacteria that some marine life depend on for their personal hygiene and to help digest food/decompose their waste.

Imagine you have a personal septic system for your home (no sewer service). This septic system uses bacteria to break down the defacate matter, right? Now, start pumping triclosan into it... all of a sudden, you have a flood in your yard, because you've overflowed the septic system. Those bacteria have been killed off, to an extent that they can't keep up with the defacate matter that is introduced. The next strain that comes up might be more resistant to triclosan, but you've already had to pay for the excavation and cleaning/disposal of all that waste... so maybe triclosan wasn't such a good idea?
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