The FDA recently put a ban on anti-bacterial soap due to the ingredient triclosan, but the supposedly harmful chemical still might be getting into your system. The crazy way you’re consuming it? This made my blood boil!
The FDA is still allowing at least one company to keep the dangerous substance in its contents, but you’ll never guess who it is.
You’d think that if a chemical is too dangerous for your skin, it would be unsafe to ingest, right? Apparently, the FDA thinks otherwise.
Colgate Total is still using triclosan in its particular brand of toothpaste because, according to an FDA spokesperson, it “demonstrated to be effective at reducing plaque and gingivitis.”
“Based on scientific evidence, the balance of benefit and risk is favorable for these products.”
– Andrea Fischer, FDA Spokesperson
Rolf Halden, a director for environmental security at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University, thinks it is strange that triclosan has been banned from soaps, even though only “a small amount gets into our body,” and yet it is found in toothpaste where “chemicals get rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream” through the mouth and gums.
People on social media are also pointing to this fact, and asking “why is the FDA allowing this to happen?”
Interestingly, in 2013, an independent review of 30 separate studies by The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews concluded that toothpaste with triclosan in it did outperform toothpaste that did not have triclosan as an active ingredient.
According to the New York Times, reviews of the studies showed that “when used for six to nine months, triclosan-fluoride toothpastes reduced plaque severity by 41 percent more than fluoride pastes alone.” The Times also reported that the reviews found that “triclosan-fluoride combination reduced gum inflammation by 22 percent more and gum bleeding by 48 percent more than fluoride alone.”
In regards to triclosan, the Natural Resource Defense Council has been adamant on the dangers that the chemical poses, and its impact on Americans as a whole:
“The dangers of triclosan (and a related antibacterial chemical, triclocarban) are many. For starters, it’s an endocrine disruptor, meaning it interferes with important hormone functions, which can directly affect the brain in addition to our immune and reproductive systems. Specifically, the chemical disturbs thyroid, testosterone, and estrogen regulation, which can create a host of issues including early puberty, poor sperm quality, infertility, obesity, and cancer. Studies have also shown it can lead to impaired learning and memory, exacerbate allergies, and weaken muscle function. The impacts of prolonged exposure during fetal development, infancy, and childhood can be particularly severe, resulting in permanent damage.”
Colgate spokesman, Thomas DiPiazza, defended his company’s use of the chemical, stating “The full weight of scientific evidence amassed over 25 years continues to support the safety and efficacy of Colgate Total.” He goes on to suggest that “the agency did not conclude that triclosan in soap was unsafe or ineffective,” but rather soap manufacturers simply did not submit proof that their anti-bacterial soaps were better than regular hand soap.
Arizona State’s Dr. Halden believes that a lot of those studies were not “designed to look at hormonal effects, nor did they carry on long enough to measure the outcomes we are concerned about such as endocrine disruption,” and therefore, were not a good indicator of potential health risks.
Chairman of New York University’s College of Dentistry, Dr. Richard Niederman, isn’t all that concerned with triclosan in toothpaste, but mostly because, as he says, “I’m not an alarmist.”
“I would tell my patients if they are concerned about triclosan that stannous fluoride is also very effective for reducing plaque and gingivitis.”
While the FDA claims that triclosan can cause serious health problems, they continue to allow the number one selling toothpaste on the market put consumers at risk. How much longer before they take this off the shelves? Are YOU at risk?