Document Type: Original Research Article

Authors

1 Department of Chemistry, Tarbiat Modares University, P.O. Box 14155-4838, Tehran, Iran.

2 Kimya Faraz Zibae Co., Tehran, Iran.

Abstract

Preservative capacity is measured for seventeen currently accessible Iranian made shampoo products. Upon purchase, bacterial counts show no trace of any microbial contamination. The shampoo bottles are distributed to seventeen female graduate students, residing at the time in different dormitories of Tarbiat Modares University (TMU). After 40 days, the allocated bottles are returned and their bacterial counts repeated, under the same conditions. To our surprise, no trace of any microbial contamination is observed. Three possibilities are considered. 1) The factory employed preservative(s) act very efficiently. 2) The shampoo component(s) are themselves bactericidal. 3) Existence of sanitary conditions and the absence of any microbial contaminants at TMU! Evidently, the third possibility is ruled out. The second choice is also discarded, because practically no significant antimicrobial activity is demonstrated by any of the four main ingredients of the shampoos including sodium lauryl ether sulfate (SLES), betaine, coconut fatty acid, and glycerin. Hence, the most likely possibility is the first one, since upon deliberate contamination of the seventeen brands; the factory employed preservatives [5-chloro-2-methyl-4-isothiazolin-3-one and 2-methyl-4-isothiazolin-3-one (KATHON CG)] prove highly bactericidal against four major contaminants: Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and the methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

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