Toxic triclosan in toothpaste?

By Dev Gowda
Director, Campaign for Toxic-Free Products

A recent article in the LA Times revealed that a new study found that the toxic compound triclosan, which is commonly found in toothpaste as well as other consumer products such as cosmetics, children’s toys, and yoga mats, “could cause adverse effects on colonic inflammation and colon cancer.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has found triclosan to be not generally recognized as safe for antiseptic products, and ordered a ban on triclosan in soaps and hand sanitizers in 2016. We use soap on our hands--but toothpaste goes in our mouths. The FDA still allows the harmful compound to be used in toothpaste and the EPA hasn’t taken action to get rid of triclosan in other consumer goods. The compound is also used in paint, carpeting, and kitchenware.

The good news? Major consumer product giant Procter & Gamble (P&G), the maker of Crest and Oral-B toothpastes announced that it has phased out the use triclosan in its products. Other toothpaste manufacturers are doing the same thing. But not all are getting rid of triclosan, and a lot of people don’t even know what triclosan is, let alone know to check to see if their toothpaste has triclosan in it. When many popular toothpaste brands are already taking the initiative to remove the toxic compound from their products, the FDA needs to step up and take action to ban its use in ALL toothpaste to protect our public health.

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