Would you use a toothpaste if you knew it contained a potentially cancer-causing chemical? Colgate Total toothpaste contains triclosan, a chemical linked to cancer — and no one really knew that until very recently. Should you be using this toothpaste if a cloud hangs over it? And can you be sure what’s in the other toothpaste brands on the market? You can read our article on how to make a superior toothpaste yourself, or continue reading..
If you knew a product contained an ingredient linked to the growth of cancer cells, you probably wouldn’t use it. That now means you need to throw out that tube of Colgate Total toothpaste. It was approved in 1997 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, but should it have been? And should the approval be withdrawn since there are new finding based on recent studies?
Triclosan is used in antibacterial soaps, children’s toys and kitchenware as well as toothpaste. But there’s real concern now that this chemical may not be as safe as once thought.
A Bloomberg news report first brought this issue to light. And the FDA didn’t release the 35 pages of toxicology information on Colgate Total toothpaste until the issue came to light and because of a Freedom of Information Act suit filed in 2013. Now, the findings from the FDA are available on the agency’s website.
In the report, the FDA took issue with Colgate’s claims regarding triclosan but noted that the chemical can treat gingivitis because it effectively kills bacteria and can get rid of plaque. But gingivitis isn’t something you can diagnose yourself, meaning it would need to be diagnosed by a dentist who could then recommend some other course or treatment. Many other options are available.
The Bloomberg report notes that the biggest revelation in the report is that Colgate did not take into account experiments with the chemical performed on animals, saying those findings were not relevant.