Does Your Toothpaste Contain a Dangerous Ingredient?

Did You Know… that your name brand toothpaste might contain a dangerous antibacterial ingredient?

According to a recent article in the Bloomberg News, “customers are abandoning Colgate’s Total brand [toothpaste] because it contains triclosan.”

Triclosan is a highly controversial and proven dangerous antibacterial agent found in soaps and many other personal care products.  Numerous credible organizations want to see triclosan removed from store shelves entirely—and last May, Minnesota made headlines by banning this ingredient from all products in its state effective January 2017.

Endocrine Disruption—Just Say No 

The short- and long-term effects of triclosan on human health remain to be seen.  However, numerous studies have already shown that this ingredient can act as an endocrine disruptor in animals.  Endocrine disruptors produce adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune effects in both humans and wildlife.  Meanwhile, new research presented recently at the American Chemical Society annual meeting showed that triclosan might also cause endocrine disruption in unborn babies.

 

FACT: Currently, triclosan is so often included in the products we use each day that, according to studies by the CDC, traces of it can be found in 75% of people’s urine.


Lack of Sufficient Safety Evidence 

The FDA does acknowledge that triclosan alters hormone regulation in animal studies, and that other studies in bacteria have raised the possibility that triclosan contributes to making bacteria resistant to antibiotics.

Currently, the FDA is engaged in an ongoing scientific and regulatory review of this triclosan—but claims that the agency lacks “sufficient safety evidence to recommend changing consumer use of products that contain triclosan at this time.”  The FDA says it will release official guidelines for triclosan’s use in products by 2016.

In the meantime, several companies—including Johnson and Johnson—have pledged to remove triclosan from their products.  And Procter and Gamble already uses “triclosan free” as a major selling point for its Crest toothpaste products.  Additionally, many all-natural toothpastes that not only leave out the triclosan but also other questionable chemicals are widely available in health food stores and online.

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