Have you ever heard of Triclosan? Chances are you haven’t (unless you read this blog regularly), but it is probably in a number of items currently in your home. Developed more than 40 years ago, this ingredient that is used to kill germs and is found in 75 percent of antibacterial soaps is ineffective and potentially harmful. As one of the most researched ingredients commonly used in household products, Triclosan is going to be under review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration this year. Because of this harmful substance’s germ-fighting powers, it is also in some toothpaste as an ingredient to combat gingivitis.
Advocates and lawmakers have put pressure on the FDA to test the safety of this ingredient, as previous studies have proved that Triclosan in animals has caused negative health effects. Allison Aiello, professor at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health noted that current knowledge of the chemical shows that the risks outweigh the benefits. Triclosan and other ingredients commonly found in household products have not been formally approved by U.S. health regulators because they were developed before modern-day laws required scientific review of ingredients.
One of the most daunting products that feature Triclosan as an ingredient is toothpaste. You can still find toothpaste for bad breath and gingivitis without resorting to one with harmful chemicals. Exposure to Triclosan can cause damage to the endocrine system, birth defects and a weakened immune system. However, some companies will disguise this ingredient on the label, so be aware of products containing the following: Additive B, Biofresh, Cloxifenolum, Irgasan (DP 300 or PG 60), Lexol-300, Microban or Ster-Zac.
You may want to consider good toothpaste that contains all-natural ingredients, no added dyes or artificial flavorings.