Published: 25/02/22 10:20 Categories: Microbiology
More than a year after the banning of Triton, we continue to receive enquiries on the subject. Here is a brief summary of this substance and the available alternatives, in particular Dey-Engley Broth, aimed to clear up any doubts.
Triton: what is it and why was it banned?
Octoxynol, commercially known as Triton X-100, is an alkylphenol ethoxylate surfactant (APE), specifically an octylphenol ethoxylate (OPE), commonly used in laboratories as a detergent for cell lysis or cell membrane permeabilization. On a daily basis, it was also found in the formulation of industrial and household cleaning products.
However, OPE and NPE (nonylphenol ethoxylates) substances were included in REACH Annex XIV in 2017. This meant that their general use has been banned as of January 4, 2021, and a special authorization is required for their use. The reason behind this decision is that research has found that compounds produced by the degradation of Triton are ecotoxic, as they have endocrine disrupting qualities that could affect wildlife, e.g., fish, birds and mammals.
Triton in cosmetics analysis
This decision has affected some culture media, mainly Eugon LT 100 ISO Broth. Since then, microbiological control in the cosmetics industry has experienced difficulties, as this medium was the main diluent used.
This is because the treatment of any sample to be analyzed is crucially important both for the correct functioning of the analysis method and for obtaining reliable results. This is particularly important in the cosmetics sector due to the presence of preservatives in their composition, which makes it imperative to neutralize these substances prior to any analysis. For further information, check out our CondalabTalk on the subject. In the case of Eugon LT 100 Broth, Triton's role was as a dispersant to stabilize the medium formulation.
At Condalab we feel it is our responsibility to offer alternatives to simplify decisions in the laboratory. Among this selection we recommend Dey-Engley Neutralizing Broth ISO, since you can continue to perform your analysis following a reference method with a medium that is able to neutralize a wide spectrum of substances with antimicrobial properties even in high concentrations, such as phenolic compounds, quaternary ammonium compounds and aldehydes.
In addition, we have other media such as Letheen Broth Modified ISO, Lactose Broth, Ringer Solution ISO and Eugon LT Modified Broth, whose formulation is not according to ISO and contains Ecosurf as a dispersing agent.
What medium have you replaced Eugon Broth with since the Triton ban? Are you following an ISO method? If you need more information or have any questions, contact us.