The infrared spectrum of triclosan [or 5-chloro-2-(2,4-dichlorophenoxy)phenol] isolated in a low temperature (similar to 15 K) argon matrix has been recorded and assigned with help of DFT claculations undertaken with the B3LYP functional and the 6-311++G(d,p) basis set. The obtained spectrum doubtlessly exhibits the characteristic vibrational signature of the neutral (phenol) form of the compound, which exists in two different conformations (forms I and II) in the matrix, in a I: II population ratio of ca. 0.75. Upon broadband UV irradiation of the matrix-isolated triclosan with unfiltered light provided by a xenon arc lamp, formation of 2,8-dichlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (2,8-DCDD) was observed, together with HCl. The reaction seems to occur through initial photoproduction of the triclosan phenol radical derivative, and involve in the initial step participation of dissociative (pi sigma*) excited states along the OH stretching coordinate, as observed previously for other phenol derivatives. The photochemically detached hydrogen atom derived from triclosan may then react with the closest located chlorine atom in the triclosan molecule to yield HCl and a biradical species, which can subsequently undergo a ring-closure reaction by intramolecular recombination, leading to the observed 2,8-DCDD. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.