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Triclosan is considered as an important contaminant and is widely used in personal care products as an antimicrobial agent. This study demonstrates the biodegradation of triclosan by two freshwater microalgae and the acute toxicity of triclosan and 2,4-dichlorophenol. The effects of culture media and light on biodegradation of triclosan and the changing morphology of microalgae were systematically studied. Geitlerinema sp. and Chlorella sp. degraded 82.10% and 92.83% of 3.99 mg/L of triclosan at 10 days, respectively. The microalgal growth inhibition assay confirmed absence of toxic effects of triclosan on Chlorella sp., even at higher concentration (50 mg/L) after 72 h exposure. HPLC analysis showed that 2,4-dichlorophenol was produced as degradation product of triclosan by Geitlerinema sp. and Chlorella sp. This study proved to be beneficial to understand biodegradation and acute toxicity of triclosan by microalgae in order to provide aquatic environmental protection.A novel triclosan degrading cyanobacterium Geitlerinema sp. was isolated.2,4-dichlorophenol was detected as degradation product of triclosan.92.83% of 3.99 mg/L triclosan was degraded by Chlorella sp.The EC50 was 0.2 mg/L and LD50 was 1 mg/L for triclosan treated daphnids.The EC50 was 5 mg/L and LD50 was 10 mg/L for 2,4-dichlorophenol treated daphnids.