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Why Controversial Ingredient Triclosan Is in Toothpaste, but Not Bodywash

Why would a chemical linked to inflammation and cancer be banned in numerous consumer products, but still be allowed to be used in maybe the most common product of all? That’s a question we should all be asking our government today.

Triclosan was originally seen as an ingredient that benefitted humans due to its antibacterial uses, but over the last few year it’s been widely considered more dangerous than beneficial. It was found in everything from cosmetics and clothing, to toys and even first aid products. But concerns over its lasting effects led the Food and Drug Administration to ban its use in bodywash, bar soap, and liquid soap. Despite its ban in daily use washes, it’s still being used in at least one toothpaste, Colgate Total. Colgate Total was originally approved for use by the FDA in 1997. A spokesman for the FDA answered the question as to why this toothpaste is allowed to use the banned substance stating, “the toothpaste was found to be safe and effective.” According to the FDA, they are continuing to “monitor the medical literature and other sources of data on the safety of triclosan.”

Studies have shown that the presence of triclosan in toothpaste can reduce plaque and gingivitis at a higher rate than toothepastes that do not contain the controversial ingredient. But is it worth the risk? If it isn’t safe enough to wash our hands with, why should it be considered safe enough to brush our teeth with? Let’s hope the Food and Drug Administration brings their opinion on triclosan into focus sooner rather than later.

For the full story on the FDA’s semi-ban on triclosan, follow the link: