Triclosan- Removed from Soaps, but not from Toothpaste?
Triclosan is found in many different products, including soap, antibacterial wipes, toys, clothes, cuttings boards, and many other places. This chemical, though, has some potentially harmful effects. Studies involving animals have shown that some bacteria that are exposed to triclosan may become resistant to antibiotics, and has raised some concern about its effect on fertility. Even more troubling is the suggestion that it increased the risk of cancer. For humans, the research has shown that this harmful chemical can affect hormones and interfere with proper fetal development.
The strange thing is, several years ago Colgate-Palmolive removed triclosan from all of its soap products because of safety concerns brought up by consumer groups, but the company left it in its best-selling toothpaste, Colgate Total. Chemicals are easily absorbed in the mouth, so if triclosan is a health concern when used topically, such as in soap, using it in your mouth would not be any safer.
Colgate stands behind its claim that its toothpaste is safe, but interestingly, summaries of the toxicology studies were not published for the general public. Infact, they were withheld by the FDA for 17 years, and were only made available this year. Another point that should be mentioned is that the FDA does not perform their own scientific study on products; instead they rely on company-backed research to “prove” that a drug or product is safe for the consumer. This obviously would not be impartial, and poses a huge conflict of interest.
Triclosan is one of the most prevalent endocrine-disrupting chemicals out there right now. Bone deformations in animal studies suggest hormonal effects, which affect the endocrine system. These endocrine-disrupting chemicals can promote a variety of health concerns, including: ovarian, testicular, breast and prostate cancer, as well as low birth weight babies, and preterm babies.
We did a blog post about Triclosan about 2 years ago, to read it please click here.