Triclosan, a chlorinated polyphenolic compound found in a range of consumer products, has been touted as "antibacterial" and somehow linked, by extension, to providing safety and reducing infection in hospitals and homes. Thus, it's found its way over the last twenty years into soaps and cleansers, and more recently toothpaste (scary).
Scientist at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor reviewed relevant research on this chemical and the products that contain it, and came to the inevitable conclusion: it doesn't really work at reducing infection rates in hospitals, nor is it any better than regular soap at reducing bacterial levels on hands. And, of course, they tracked and documented cross-resistance amongst bacteria exposed to Triclosan and those who've never tasted the stuff: these ubiquitous antibacterial preparations are contributing to bacterial adaptation and resistance. Our environment is awash in these types of substances already, and bacterial resistance is increasing. Antibiotics, which can be lifesavers in emergency situations, are one thing (overused, granted). But no one should be purchasing these Triclosan-containing products which are ineffective and dangerous to the environmental balance.